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was established in 191S with a bequest of $95,000 
under the will of Louis Clark Vanuxem, of the Class 
of 1879. By direction of the executors of Mr. Van- 
uxem's estate, the income of the foundation is to be 
used for a series of public lectures delivered in Prince- 
ton annuaUy, at least one half of which shall be on 
subjects of current scientific interest. The lectures 
are to be published emd distributed among schools 
and libraries generally. 

The following lectures have been published: 

The Theory of Permutable Functions, by Vito 

Lectures delivered in connection with the dedi- 
cation of the Graduate College of Princeton 
University by Emile Boutroux, Alois Riehl, 
A. D. Godley and Arthur Shipley. 

Romance, by Sir Walter Raleigh. 

A Critique of the Theory of Evolution, by Thomas 
Hunt Morgan. 

Platonism, by Paul Elmer More. 





Lectwrei Delivered at Princeton University 
ApHl 7, 8, 10, 11, 1919 





Copyrighted and Published 1990 by Princeton University Press 


September 1922 




Feinted at Princeton University Preib, Princeton, U. S. A. 


Without some word of explanation the reader 
might judge that the author of this book thought 
that intelligence was the sole determiner of 
human conduct. Such a view is of course in- 
consistent with the most obvious. facts. 

It happens however, that in the solution of this 
problem of human eflSciency, we are just at pres- 
ent better equipped to evaluate the part intel- 
ligence plays, than any other of the psychological 
factors. It therefore seems worth while to solve 
our problem in terms of intelligence as though it 
were the only variable. The other unknown 
quantities may be considered when the part they 
play is better imderstood. 

Let us solve our equation for x now and leave 
y and z for later consideration when we 3hall 
know as much about emotion and temperament as 
we now know about intelligence. 

If mental level plays anything like the role it 
seems to, and if in each human being it is the 
fixed quantity that some believe it is, then it is no 


useless speculation that tries to see what would 
happen if society were organized so as to recog- 
nize and make use of the doctrine of mental levels. 

Moreover if the views set forth in these lectures 
are in the main sound then it is quite possible 
to restate practically all of our social problems 
in terms of mental leveL 

For example, what could be done with labor 
and wages? Suppose we say men should be paid 
first according to their intelligence; and second 
according to their labor: e.g., "D" men are 
worth and should receive "D" wages; C men C 
wages (which are higher), etc. If a certain job 
requires D intelligence, D men should be em- 
ployed at D wages. If there are not enough D 
men, C men must be employed at C wages. And 
it may be relied upon that they will be worth the 
difference because of their greater intelligence. 

If, of two jobs each requiring D intelligence, 
one is more agreeable than the other and hence 
draws all the D men, the conditions must be 
evened up as far as possible by changing hours, 
etc., and then by increasing the pay for the less 
desirable job. A little experimenting would 
equalize the two jobs so that all would be satis- 
fied. Doubtless other adjustments would be 
found necessary. But the great advantage of 


having every man doing work on his own mental 
level would prove fundamental. 

Testing intelligence is no longer an experi- 
ment or of doubted value. It is fast becoming 
an exact science. 

The facts revealed by the army tests cannot be 
ignored. Greater efficiency, we are always work- 
ing for. Can these new facts be used to increase 
our efficiency? No question I We only await 
the Human Engineer who will undertake the 

It is hoped that the consideration of the topics 
of these lectures will help prepare the way for 
greater social efficiency. 


The topic of mental levels or "levels of intelli- 
gence" has been chosen for these lectures because 
while the subject is not altogether new it seems 
that there are phases of it that have not been 
dwelt upon but which enable us to look at some 
of the present day problems from a new angle, 
and suggest solutions different from any usually 

Stated in its boldest form our thesis is that the 
chief determiner of human conduct is a unitary 
mental process which we call intelligence: that 
this process is conditioned by a nervous mechan- 
ism that is inborn : that the degree of efficiency to 
be attained by that nervous mechanism and the 
consequent grade of intelligence or mental level 
for each individual is determined by the kind of 
chromosomes that come together with the imion 
of the germ cells : that it is but little affected by 
any later influence except such serious accidents 
as may destroy part of the mechanism. 

As a consequence any attempt at social adjust- 
ment which fails to take into account the deter- 
mining character of the intelligence and its un- 
alterable grade in each individual is illogical and 




In one sense the doctrine of mental levels may 
be said to have had a lowly origin. On Jmie 
10th, 1903, Earl Barnes in concluding an address 
before the Corporation of The Vineland Train- 
ing School for Feeble-Minded Girls and Boys, 
said: "To me Vineland is a himian laboratory 
and a garden where imfortimate children are 
cared for, protected and loved while they un- 
consciously whisper to us syllable by syllable the 
secret of the soul's growth. It may very well be 
that the most ignorant shall teach us most." 

In October 1904 the Minister of Public In- 
struction of Paris named a Commission which 
was charged with the "Study of Measures to be 
taken. Showing the Benefits of Instruction for 
Defective Children." This Commission decided 
that no child suspected of retardation should be 
eliminated from the ordinary school and admit- 
ted into a special class without first being sub- 
jected to a pedagogical and medical examination 
from which it could be certified that because of 
the state of his intelligence he was imable to 



profit in average measure from the instruction 
given in the ordinary school. But how the ex- 
amination of each child should be made the Com- 
mission felt under no obligation to decide. To 
one member of that Commission, however, it 
seemed extremely useful to furnish a guide for 
future Commission examinations. That member 
was Alfred Binet. He felt strongly the need of 
a scientific method of determining what children 
needed this special treatment. He says, " To 
be a member of a special class can never be a 
mark of distinction, and such as do not merit it 
must be spared the record.'' With this feeling 
Binet set to work upon the problem devoting the 
energy of his marvelous intellect and a large part 
of his time for approximately seven years to the 
developing and perfecting of a measuring scale 
for intelligence. 

In 1906 the Vineland Laboratory was opened 
for the psychological study of f eeble-mindedness. 
Those who are especially interested in the origin 
and evolution of ideas may be interested to pon- 
der over the problem of how there should origi- 
nate in two nations Mddely separated, different in 
language, and Mdthout collusion or suggestion 
from one to the other, the same idea though moti- 
vated by very different purposes. The French- 


man having the very definite and practical ob- 
jective of determining who were the children who 
needed special education. The American having 
a vague conception that these same defectives 
might "unconsciously whisper to us syllable by 
syllable the secret of the soul's growth, and, thus, 
the most ignorant teach us most." 

It was not long, of course, imtil these two 
streams of independent origin flowed together 
and out of them has grown the theory of mental 

It is often easy after a theory has been scien- 
tifically demonstrated to discover that there is 
nothing new about it. We have accepted and 
used it for long only under a different name, or 
without realizing its far-reaching significance. It 
is certainly not new to declare that a two-year old 
child is at a higher mental level than a one-year 
old. A child of ten is of higher intellectual de- 
velopment than one of six; and so far, it is true 
there is nothing new in the theory of mental 
levels. Throughout childhood the human being 
rises to an ever higher level of intelligence, but 
beyond this we had not gone, perhaps never 
would have gone had not the genius of a Binet 
given us the means of extending the principle. 
As so often happens in human affairs it is the part 


that is just beyond the obvious that proves to be 
of the utmost value. When gold was discovered 
in the Black Hills it was not long until the visible 
supply was exhausted, and at that time it was lit- 
tle realized that the rock, which to the placer 
miner was of no use, would one day furnish the 
material for the most profitable mining operation 
in the world. 

It is a matter of e very-day observation, as al- 
ready stated, that children as they grow rise to a 
higher and higher level of intelligence. But two 
facts were imappreciated and even yet are so 
little recognized as to make the whole matter "a 
theory'* in the minds of most. These two facts 
are: First that the intellectual development is 
largely independent of what we call learning or 
knowledge ; and second that not all develop to the 
highest level, or even near to it; many stop at 
some one of the lower levels of childhood. To 
produce the evidence for these facts and to draw 
some of the far-reaching conclusions therefrom 
is now our task. 

That we may approach the problem Mdth un- 
biased minds it will be well to first remove some 
of the obstacles. First let us state the theory 
more succinctly than we have yet done. The 
theory of mental levels holds that every human 


being comes into the world with a potentiality for 
mental development that will carry him just so 
far and that barring those accidents that may 
stop a person from reaching the development 
which would have been normal to him, nothing 
can, to any great extent, effect the mental level 
to which he will finally attain. Why is this view 
hard to accept? 

Probably the first and most important reason 
is that we have generally confused intelli- 
gence with knowledge. Having no way to evalu- 
ate either one we have been lost in the intricacies 
and confusion results. At thi^ point I should 
like to define each .one but unfortunately we are 
unable to. We do not know what intelligence is 
and it is doubtful if we even know What knowl- 
edge is. This however need not frighten us since 
man works with and makes use of many things 
which he cannot define. For example electricity, 
which we can measure, control and use, but the 
exact nature of which has never yet been ascer- 
tained. We may point out that intelligence is an 
inherited force while knowledge is wholly ac- 
quired. Moreover they are not to a large extent 
inter-dependent. It is true that one can not ac- 
quire a high degree of knowledge without having 
some intelligence and the highly intelligent per- 


son certainly acquires knowledge because it is of 
great use, but, a person may have knowledge that 
is out of proportion to his intelligence and vice 

The last statement especially forces us to make 
at least an attempt to define our terms. What 
do we mean by intelligence and what do we mean 
by knowledge? We have said that the one is 
inborn, the other acquired. Intelligence is the 
potentiality of the machine. Knowledge is the 
material upon which it works. Knowledge is the 
raw material. Intelligence determines what we 
do with it. The effectiveness of a machine (what 
it can do), depends upon its structure and its 
functioning. Likewise, intelligence is dependent 
upon the structure of the brain cells which con- 
dition given mental processes, and second, upon 
the functioning of those cells. 

A hand printing press is a machine of very 
simple structure and has a simple function of 
spreading ink upon paper according to a prear- 
ranged plan. Its structure may be of the sim- 
plest, merely a square block of metal, wood or 
rubber cut into the desired form upon which the 
ink is spread and then the block placed against 
the paper. Twenty-six such blocks used individ- 
ually in the prescribed order is sufficient to put 


upon the paper any message in the English lan- 
guage and by repetitions of the process one can 
make as many copies as one likes. This would 
be an example of very simple structure and a 
very simple functioning. We may elaborate the 
structure of this machine so that it will hold to- 
gether the different blocks in the prescribed order 
so that they can all be impressed at once upon 
the paper. We have thus elaborated the struc- 
ture slightly and extended its function and thus 
attained to a higher level of printing. 

A higher level is reached when we elaborate the 
structure by the addition of guides, wheels and 
levers so put together and arranged that it is only 
necessary to place the paper of the right size in 
a particular position and the copies are produced 
as rapidly as the paper can be placed. 

A still higher level of structure and function- 
ing is attained when the machine is so elaborated 
that it is only necessary to place a pile or a roll of 
paper in a given position and the machine picks 
up a piece of paper, places it under the type, 
prints it, puts it out of the way and repeats the 
process. And so by adding new structure to our 
machine in such a way that new functions are pos- 
sible, we may finally arrive at a machine that 
needs only to have a supply of the raw material 


in the shape, for mstance, of sheets of paper cut 
in a definite shape, when it wiU pick up the paper 
a sheet at a time, print it, spread glue on certain 
prescribed edges of the sheet, fold over and press 
together some of those edges until we have an 
envelope which continumg through the machine, 
the gum on the flap is dried and then the flap 
is folded over and the completed envelopes are 
coimted, pushed out, grouped in packages of 
twenty-five, a band placed around the bundle 
and dropped into a box. The structure of such 
a machine is exceedingly complicated and the 
functioning is so surprising that it is a common 
remark that the machine is "almost intelligent." 
We, thus, have a very high level of mechanical 
efficiency. This is comparable to intelligence. 
This machine may exercise its complete fimction 
upon paper and a printers ink made from lamp 
black and oil. These are the raw materials com- 
parable to knowledge. But the same machine is 
capable of using other raw materials. It may use 
innumerable kinds of ink made from widely dif- 
ferent substances. It may print upon paper of 
many different kinds, upon cloth, wood, metal 
and numerous other substances. It may make 
envelopes of different sizes and shapes 4ith no 
change of its structure and only a slight change 


of functioning. It may count them out in tens 
or fifties or any other numbers and thus its use- 
fuhiess is enormously increased, but it will be 
noticed it is the same machine, the same structure 
and fimctions. We have merely increased the 
range of its raw materials. Knowledge is to in- 
tem^ence what the raw material is to the ma- 
chine. This is, to be sure, a crude and inadequate 
illustration of the human machine and yet the 
analogy is sufficiently close and accurate to help 
us to comprehend the relation of intelligence to 
knowledge, which is fundamental to an apprecia- 
tion of the doctrine of mental levels. 

It may be said that one may have considerable 
knowledge with little intelligence. The simple 
hand press, our lowest level of mechanical struc- 
ture in the printing press, might nevertheless be 
supplied with quantities of all kinds of ink and 
material to be printed ; but it could never use all 
of that material because the process is too slow 
and because the structure would not permit of its 
being used upon all kind of substances. It could 
never make an envelope because its structure is 
wholly inadequate. Low grade intelligence can- 
not use much knowledge. In our illustration it is 
always possible to distinguish the machine or any 
part of it from the raw material upon which it 


works. In considering the work of the human 
being this is not the case, hence, the confusion to 
which we have referred, between intelligence and 

Many a person is estimated as of high intelli- 
gence who in reality has only a somewhat unusual 
supply of knowledge. The extreme of this is fa- 
miliar in the man who, as it is commonly ex- 
pressed, "is a walking encyclopedia" but who 
makes almost no use of his knowledge for the 
usually unappreciated reason that he has not the 
natural intelligence necessary. A man well 
known to the writer has an intimate knowledge 
of the facts of history sufficient to have made him 
a statesman; but lacking the intelligence to use 
his valuable acquisition in this line he spent a 
perfectly colorless life unknown outside of his 
own township and unappreciated even there. 

The second important reason why the theory 
of mental levels is hard to accept is to be found in 
the fact that while we know that children gen- 
erally increase in intelligence from birth to ma- 
turity we have never appreciated the exceptions. 
Let us consider the acoLpanying diagra^. 

The vertical lines with their increasing height 
may represent the increase of intelligence as the 
years increase. This we have observed and ac- 



) : 




a i 













cepted. The horizontal lines will represent what 
we have not appreciated, viz., that some of the 
people who attain to the mental level of six, for 
instance, stop there and as the years go by will al- 
ways be found on that level. We have, it is true, 
begun to appreciate the fact of arrested mental 
development. What we have not begun to ap- 
preciate is the proportion of human beings who 
have stopped at the ages of ten, twelve, fourteen 
years. If we seek for the reason for this over- 
sig'ht it is to be f oimd partly in the confusion of 
intelligence with knowledge and partly also, in 
the fact that we confuse mental development with 
physical development. Because the boy of ten 
whose mental development may have ceased at 
that point, continues to develop physically oiur 
estimate of him follows the physical development 
which is so obvious ; and we fail to appreciate the 
mental side which is obsciure. It is a notorious 
fact that men judges and men physicians refuse 
to admit a girl is feeble-minded if she is pretty. 
As long as we had no scientific method of de- 
termining the mental level it was but natural that 
we should fail to appreciate it. What then are 
the methods of interpreting the mental level and 
what are the results of using those methods? I 
shall not weary you with the details of the tests 


used or the systems of tests, but, rather attempt 
to emphasize some of the principles of mental, 
testing that have been too little appreciated and 
are still too often ignored. The assumptions un- 
derlying the determination of mental level are : 

First, there is kn orderly development of in- 
telligence from birth to an upper limit as yet not 
accurately determined. 

Second, it is possible to observe and measure 
this development independent of the acquired 
knowledge. Moreover a test of a child's knowl- 
edge has only an indirect value as when a person 
who has not succeeded in acquiring knowledge, 
we may explain his failure on the basis of lack of 
intelligence. But that is an indirect argument 
which is only resorted to in borderline cases or for 
purposes of confirmation. 

The first assumption does not need discussion 
so far as its main theme is concerned. It has been 
objected that while there is an orderly develop- 
ment that order is peculiar to each individual and 
that the individual variations are so great that it 
is impossible to have one standard. It has been 
maintained rather strongly that children do not 
develop equally on all sides, but on the contrary 
very imevenly ; that one child is strong where an- 
other is weak. There is no denying that the facts 


upon which this statement is made are true. 
What has not been appreciated is the fact that 
they have no bearing upon the problem of meas- 
uring the intelligence level. The differences and 
peculiarities that are a matter of common obser- 
vation are the manifestations of intelligence and 
not the intelligence itself. To go back to our 
analogy of the printing press, one printer may 
use black ink, another red or green. One may 
make a specialty of printing on silk, another on 
parchment, one may show one kind of product 
and another another, but it i$ always the same 

Our second assumption needs more careful 
consideration. It is rather popular to deny in 
toto that intelligence can be measured. This view 
has persisted apparently for two main reasons; 
first, the confusion with knowledge with the added 
consideration that knowledge is more in evidence ; 
and second, from a misconception of the nature 
of mind. This misconception is natural enough, 
because the psychologist has been in the habit of 
discussing the various phases and manifestations 
of mind as though they were separate entities, a 
process justifiable for purposes of study but ex- 
ceedingly misleading when it comes to the appli- 
cation to practical problems. Even if the psy- 


chologist's description of attention, memory, per- 
ception, reasoning, will, etc,, is correct, and even 
if we could measure the strength of these in a 
particular child, it would be utterly unsafe and 
irrational to conclude that we could predict what 
the result would be when some or all of these pro- 
cesses are combined into that f imction which we 
caQ inteUigence. 

Even in the material world it is often unsafe 
to attempt to predict what will be the properties 
of a synthetic product. For example, the proper- 
ties of steel are well known, also the properties 
of vanadium, but no one would have dared pre- 
dict that the addition of seventeen hundredths of 
one percent of vanadium to a quantity of steel 
would produce a product that differs from both 
to the extent that vanadium steel differs from 
either one. 

In the matter of tests of intelligence this error 
has been made repeatedly. At one time there 
was a strong demand for a statement of what 
each question tested; in the Binet Measuring 
Scale of Intelligence for instance, it was asked 
which were tests of attention, which of memory 
or perception or reasoning. It was very difficult 
to convince students that this was an irrational 
procedure ; especially difficult since it is true that 


of tests is the result largely of a confusion of in- 
telligence with knowledge. One constantly hears 
the objection that such a child has not had an op- 
portunity to learn certain things. If the question 
is one that depends upon the acquisition of knowl- 
edge then it is not a suitable test of intelligence. 
While it is probable that no measuring scale so 
far devised entirely gets away from more or less 
influence of knowledge and education, yet the 
questions are so arranged that on the whole it has 
very little influence. The truth of this is proved 
by the results. 

Let us now consider the results obtained in the 
use of mental tests, for after all the truth of the 
theory must be determined by the validity of the 
results. I shall not bother you with statistics or 
detailed statements of results in special cases. 
Suffice it to say that the results have surpassed 
all expectations. The mental level of a person 
as determined by any standardized measuring 
scale of intelligence is found to agree remarkably 
with his mentality as it is judged by his adapta- 
tion to his environment; and in practically aU 
cases where the mental level of abnormal persons 
is determined it is accepted as the adequate ex- 
planation of conduct previously imintelligible. 
Not only that but the method has proved to be so 


elastic that it is but little affected by what we may 
call rough usage. 

It was long contended, for example, that the 
scale would be of no value except in the hands of 
those who had received long and extensive train- 
ing. It was thought that the so-called personal 
equation of the examiner would often invalidate 
the test. It was thought that the person ex- 
amined must be kept under most rigid laboratory 
conditions. It was thought that children would 
communicate to each other the results and thus 
render the procedure invalid. These and many 
other difficulties were anticipated. As a matter 
of experience practically none of these has proved 

It is true that statistical studies of larire croups 
have shown variations in personal equatbn, in 
the effect of different procedures, and so on. But 
so far as any one individual child is concerned his 
mental level is determined with an error so slight 
as to be negligible. These statements must not 
be confused with the question of diagnosis which 
is an entirely different matter. We may for ex- 
ample determine that a twelve year old child has 
a ten year mental level. Whether such child is to 
be considered a case of mental arrest, feeble- 
minded, is an entirely different question which 


depends upon many other factors. Here as else- 
where, diagnosis is difficult and requires a great 
deal of training and experience in all borderline 
cases. If a twelve A'ear old child tested four there 
would be no difficulty in either case, that is, of 
determining the mental level or of deciding upon 

If in the past there has been any doubt of the 
truth of these statements, there can be no question 
now with the experience of the army tests 
in mind. Over one million, seven himdred 
thousand men in the army have been tested by 
these methods, their mental level determined and 
recorded. The results were so uniformly accur- 
ate and in agreement with the experience of the 
officers, that they were quickly accepted and used 
as a basis for procedure. Officers were appointed 
from the men who were found by the tests to be 
most intelligent. Those who were found to be 
least intelligent, proved also to be dull as deter- 
mined by the daily routine and were recognized 
as of too low mentality to be profitable to send 
overseas. These results have been published and 
we shall not reproduce them. We may, however, 
as a basis for our later discussion draw some very 
significant inferences from the results so far 


The significance of these results will be appre- 
ciated when we consider that one million and 
seven hundred thousand drafted men in the army 
may be accepted as a fair sample of the popula- 
tion of the United States. Whatever we may 
determine in regard to that group of men we shall 
probably find applicable to the coimtry as a 
whole. It is thus probable that we can find in 
these results, suggestions and conclusions of pro- 
foimd importance as bearing upon oiu* social 
problems and social well being. It will be re- 
called that the Army Tests were, for the most 
part, group tests ; that is, the men were examined 
in groups of fifty to three hundred. Moreover, 
the scale used was essentially a Point Scale, that 
is to say in what is known as the Alpha test were 
two hundred and twelve points, possibly obtain- 
able. The accompanying chart is made from the 
figures given out by the Surgeon General. 
We quote from the official report : 
"Explanation of Letter Ratings. The rating 
a man earns furnishes a fairly reliable index of 
his ability to learn, to think quickly and accur- 
ately, to analyze a situation, to maintain a state 
of mental alertness, and to comprehend and fol- 
low instructions. The score is little influenced by 
schooling. Some of the highest records have been 



made by men who had not completed the eighth 
grade. The meaning of the letter ratings is as 
follows : 

"A. Very Superior Intelligence. This grade is 
ordinarily earned by only four or five per cent of 
a draft quota. The "A" group is composed of 
men of marked intellectuality. "A" men are of 
high officer type when they are also endowed with 
leadership and other necessary qualities. 

"B. Superior Intelligence. "B" intelligence is 
superior, but less exceptional than that repre- 
sented by "A.'' The ratmg "B" is obtained by 
eight to ten soldiers out of a hundred. The group 
contains many men of the commissioned officer 
type and a large amount of non-commissioned 
officer material. 

"C plus. High Average Intelligence. This 
group includes about fifteen to eighteen per cent 
of aU soldiers and contains a large amount of 
non-commissioned officer material with occasion- 
ally a man whose leadership and power to com- 
mand fit him for commissioned rank. 

"C. Average Intelligence. Includes about 
twenty-five per cent of soldiers. Excellent pri- 
vate type with a certain amount of fair non-com- 
missioned officer material. 

"C minus. Low Average Intelligence. In- 


eludes about twenty per cent. While below aver- 
age in intelligence, "C — " men are usually good 
privates and satisfactory in work of routine na- 

"D. Inferior Intelligence. Includes about fif- 
teen per cent of soldiers. "D** men are likely to 
be fair soldiers, but are usually slow in learning 
and rarely go above the rank of private. They 
are short on initiative and so require more than 
the usual amount of supervision. Many of them 
are illiterate or foreign. 

"D minus and E. Very Inferior Intelligence. 
This group is divided into two classes (1) "D— *' 
men, who are very inferior in intelligence but are 
considered fit for regular service; and (2) "E** 
men, those whose mental inferiority justifies their 
recommendation for Development Battalion, 
special service organization, rejection, or dis- 
charge. The majority of "D— '* and "E" men 
are below ten years in "mental age." 

"The immense contrast between "A" and 
"D — " intelligence is shown by the fact that men 
of "A" intelligence have the ability to make a 
superior record in college or university, while 
"D — ** men are of such inferior mentality that 
they are rarely able to go beyond the third or 
fourth grade of the elementary school, however 


long they attend. In fact, most "D— " and "E*' 
men are below the "mental age'* of 10 years and 
at best are on the border-line of mental deficiency. 
Many of them are of the moron grade of feeble- 
mindedness. "B" intelligence is capable of mak- 
ing an average record in college, «C pW' intelK- 
gence can not do so well, while mentality of the 
"C* grade is rarely capable of finishing a high 
school course.'* 

It is possible to make 212 points in the tests, 
and the nmnber of points for each letter rating 
are as follows: 

D minus, to 14; D, 15-24; C minus, 25-44; 
C, 45-74; C plus, 75-104; B, 105-184; A, 185-212. 

In the nature of the case this group testing can 
hardly be expected to be as accurate as the indi- 
vidual examination. Nevertheless this army 
work was repeatedly reviewed and investigated 
by the general staff and always approved, because 
it agreed with their experience with the men and 
the results could be obtained so much more 
quickly. A Depot Brigade of raw recruits could 
be tested by the psychologist in an hour or two 
and the commanding ofiicers be given the results 
which it would take them six months to learn in 
the ordinary routine of drills. 

In the words of the Army Report already 


quoted, it has been thoroughly demonstrated that 
the intelligence ratings are usefid in indicating a 
man's probable value to the service. We could 
give many evidences of this if time permitted. 
For example, eighty-two percent of the oflScers 
of the army are found in the "A" and "B" 
groups. In a unit about to go overseas three hun- 
dred and six men were designated by their com- 
manding officers as unfit for overseas service. 
These were referred for psychological examina- 
tion with the result thai Lety percent were 
found to be mentally ten years or lower. 

In other words with this army experience it is 
no longer possible for any one to deny the valid- 
ity of mental tests, even in case of group testing ; 
and when it comes to an individual examination 
by a trained psychologist, it cannot be doubted 
that the mental level of the individual is determ- 
ined with marvelous exactness. 

The significance of all this for human progress 
and efiiciency can hardly be appreciated at once. 
Whether we are thinking of children or adults it 
enables us to know a very fundamental fact about 
the human material. The importance of this in 
building up the cooperative society such as every 
commimity aims to be, is very great. The me- 
chanical engineer could never build bridges or 


houses if he did not know accurately the strength 
of materials, how much of a load each will sup- 
port. Of how mfinitely greater unportance is it 
then when we seek to build up a social structure 
that we should know the strenirth of our mate- 
rials. UntU now we have had no means of de- 
termining this except a few data on the physical 
side such as a man's strength, ability to bear bur- 
dens, and so forth, and on the mental side a rough 
estimate bom of more or less experience with 
him. How inadequate all this has been is indi- 
cated by the large proportion of failures that are 
continuaUy met with in society. This we shaU 
discuss somewhat in the next chapter. 

In this connection the chart showing the re- 
sults of the army testing is of profoimd signifi- 
cance. The first thing is the relatively low men- 
tality of the great middle group, the "C" group. 
The army has not yet given out the age grade 
ratings for these different groups with the excep- 
tion of the "D — " which they say is ten years and 
under, but it is possible to make a fairly accurate 
estimate by mathematical means. The accuracy 
of this estimate is confirmed by the statements 
that are made in the official report. For ex- 
ample, they tell us that the "C** group are rarely 
capable of finishing high school; even "C plus" 


men are rarely equal to complicated paper work 
by which is meant making the necessary reports 
in connection with the army work. 

A score of from 10- 19 points is equivalent to a mental age of 10 







" 11 

35- 44 






a 19 

45- 59 






" 13 

60- 74 






*• 14 

75- 89 






" 15 







*• 16 







« i-y 







*• 18 







« 19 

From these figures and those given on page 27 
it will be seen that the D — group would have 
a mental age of 10 or less ; the D group would be 
made up of some 10 year and some 11 year men- 
tality; C — , includes the rest of the 11 year and 
all of the 12 year. C is 18 and 14 year: C +f 
holds the 15 year and half of the 16: B is the rest 
of 16 and all of 17: and finally the A group ex- 
actly covers the 18 and 19 year mentalities* 

These figures are so startling that in spite of 
the fact that the tests made their way against 
much opposition and were finally endorsed by 
the general staff, one is inclined to think the 
questions must have been too hard. 

This is not the place to reproduce the tests 
but a brief abstract will satisfy the reader that 


the 10 per cent who fell in the D — group must 
have been at least as low in intelligence as ten 
year old boys. 

By reference to the above figures it will be 
seen that only 15 points were required to get into 
the D group and only 25 to get into the C — 

Here are 15 test questions taken from the army 
examination : 

1. How many are 80 men and 7 men? 

2. Are cats useful animals because they catch 
mice, or because they are gentle, or because they 
are afraid of dogs? 

81 Is leather used for shoes because it is pro- 
duced in all countries, or because it wears well, 
or because it is an animal product? 

4. Do these two words mean the same oi 
opposite: wet — dry? 

5. Do these two words mean the same or 
opposite: in — out? 

6. Do these two words mean the same or op- 
posite: hill — ^valley? 

7. Re-arrange these groups of words into a 
sentence and tell whether it is a true or false 
statement, lions strong are. 

8. houses people in live. 

9. days there in are week eight a. 


10. leg flies one have only. 

1 1 . Write the next two numbers in this series : 
8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 

12. In this series: 15, 20, 25, 80, 85. 
18. In this series: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 8. 

14. From the four words in heavy type select 
one that is related to the third word in italics as 
the second is to the first; gv/n — shoots :: knife — 
run cut8 hat bird. 

15. ear — hear :: eye — table hand see play. 

Man examined was allowed fifty minutes for 
the task. Each type of question was fully ex- 
plained; and what he was to do was illustrated 
before the test began. No man who answered 
correctly these fifteen questions or any similar 
fif teen,^ was rated as low as group D — . 

This shows us at a glance the enormous propor- 
tion of the human race that is of moderate in- 
telligence, a fact not usually appreciated by the 
people of higher intelligence; to which group all 
readers of this book must modestly admit they 
belong, for the simple reason that a "C** intelli- 
gence or less could not be interested in these 

Moreover the army report tells us that the "B" 
group is of average college intelligence. Does not 
this make it clear why it is so difficult to carry for- 


ward a great movement that appeals so strongly 
to men of intelligence but cannot be expected to 
appeal to the masses whose intelligence is lower 
than that of the "C plus" group? There seems 
to be much food for thought here and we shall dis- 
cuss some of these topics in the later lectures. 



The facts and considerations set forth in the 
previous chapter enable us to restate in a new 
way the condition in which we find ourselves in 
relation to the problem of social efficiency. 

Our army abroad had a well earned reputa- 
tion for efficiency and no small part of the result 
may be attributed to the fact that the lowest 10 
per cent in intelligence were not sent overseas 
and that 88 per cent of the officers came from the 
"A" and "B" classes — superior and very superior 

There can be no question that if a similar con- 
dition prevailed in our social groups a corre- 
sponding gain in efficiency would result. As a 
matter of fact, not only are the "lowest 10 per 
cent" with us, but they are imrecognized and 
hence are often mistaken for intelligent people 
and placed in responsible positions. 

It is a maxim in engineering that a bridge is 
not stronger than its weakest part. The same is 
largely true of society. It must be understood 
however, that weakness is not determined by the 
size of the part but by the relation the size or i 



strength of the part bears to the work it has to 
do. The big steel girder may be the weak part 
while the small bolt may be capable of bearing aU 
the strain that is required of it. 

Similarly, the efficiency of the human group is 
not so much a question of the absolute numbers 
of persons of high and low intelligence as it is 
whether each grade of intelligence is assigned a 
part, in the whole organization, that is within i*s 
capacity. An intelhgent man who undertakes 
work requiring even higher intelligence, may be 
as inefficient as the imbecile who undertakes work 
that only a moron can do. 

Le. Z .^ look .t our d»rt showing the dis- 
tribution of the people according to mentality. I 
suppose no one will deny that this distribution 
based on the examination of a million, seven hun- 
dred thousand drafted men, may be applied to the 
entire population of the United States, — ^not to 
take any larger group. Surely we cannot say 
that the drafted army was either more or less in- 
telligent than those who make up the rest of the 
population. They must certainly be a fair sam- 
ple of the whole. 

Let us see what these percentages would give 
us. On the basis of a himdred million population, 
we have four and one-half million people of "A" 



intelligence, nine millions of ''B'' grade, sixteen 
and one-half of "C plus/* twenty-five of "C/* 
twenty of "C minus," fifteen of "D" and ten 
million of "D— " and "E" mentality. 

These figures are beyond human comprehen- 
sion and hence are of no use except for compari- 
son and illustration. 

From the standpoint of eflBciency the funda- 
mental question is this: Does the work of the 
country require these numbers of people of the 
various grades? Is there for example, just work 
enough requiring thirteen-fourteen year inteUi- 
gence to keep twenty-five million people busy? 
Is there enough work requiring "D" intelligence 
to keep fifteen million people busy? 

Of course we have no answer. No attempt has 
ever been made to ascertain what grade of intel- 
ligence is required for any of the multitude of 
occupations. That is the next step, that follows 
logically from the discovery of mental levels. 
Moreover, it is not a difiicult task, once we set 
ourselves about it. 

If we assume that the foregoing question is 
to be answered in the aflSrmative, we are at once 
relieved of one tremendous problem. The supply 
equals the demand at least 1 We are however, 
confronted with another question which exposes 


a condition not so easy of adjustment. Are all 
the "C" people doing "C" work, "A" men "A" 
work, etc? We know they are not. 

Manifestly here is an enormous loss of effi- 
ciency. Every time a "B'' man employs himself 
doing "C" work society is losing. Every time a 
"C" man attempts to do "B" work he fails, and 
again society loses. 

There are of course many other factors that 
determine — and rightly so — ^what work a man 
does. Some of these we shall consider later. 

An ideally efficient society then would be made 
up of the right proportion of individuals to do all 
the different types of work that are to be done 
and each man doing the work for which he is just 
capable. How far we are from the ideal may be 
seen from a consideration of the various types. 
We have mentioned the case of those who have 
an intelligence below that required for the task 
they have undertaken. 

The prevalence of this condition is vastly 
greater than has been appreciated, and is a potent 
cause of social inefficiency, individual unhappi- 
ness, misdemeanors and crime. WeU may it be 
said, "Blessed is that man who has found his 
work." We may perhaps, pass over the pre- 
school age since no great efficiency is looked for 


during that period; however, even here serious 
errors sometimes occur as for example, when an 
attempt was made to test the eyesight of a three 
year old child by the use of what is called the il- 
literacy eye test card. This card though adapted 
to illiterates nevertheless involves more intelli- 
gence than is possessed by the average three year 
old child. Needless to say, the examination was 
a failure but sad to relate, the physician did not 
know why. 

With the commencement of school life, the 
trouble begins and the number of cases of five 
year intelligence attempting to do six year (first 
grade) work, is probably vastly greater than is 
appreciated. The writer has elsewhere shown 
(Pedagogical Seminary, June 1911, Volume 18, 
pages 282-259) how this works out in one school 
system. For example, in one first grade there 
were thirty-one with six year mentality (there- 
fore properly placed) but there were also twenty- 
four with five year mentality and one with four 
year mentality. These twenty-five cases were im- 
dertaking work that was beyond their intelli- 
gence. In the fourth grade, were twenty-six of 
nine year mentality and eight of eight year men- 
tality. Similar conditions were found in all 


This condition is still found in the high school 
and even in college and sometimes in graduate 
work and finally is all too prevalent in the adult 
business of life* Many a man attempts to be a 
physician, a lawyer, a clergjmaan who has not the 
requisite intelligence. These professions are 
strewn with failures besides having vast numbers 
of people who are practically nonentities in these 
professions because they have not sufficient in- 
telligence to make their mark. When it comes 
to mercantile pursuits, many a man has started in 
business only to fail because his intelligence was 
not equal to the task that he had assumed. In 
political life, the situation is notorious. How 
many are elected to a public office for which they 
have not the adequate intelligence, being elected 
on the basis of some other quality which may be 
pleasing in itself, but has no bearing upon the 
work they are to do I 

Another phase of the situation is of consider- 
able importance and is best seen in the educa- 
tional group. Often, a chUd in a certain grade 
shows the intellectuality capable of doing all the 
work save in one subject. Here he is beyond his 
depth. This may be due to one of two causes, 
either the subject itself is out of place (really re- 
quiring more intelligence than the average child 


in that grade possesses), or second, because tht 
particular individual on account of some idiosyn- 
crasy manifests less intelligence in relation to that 
particular subject. A mathematician of large 
experience and ability once told the writer that 
as the result of his many years of teaching, he 
was convinced that a large number of children 
were spoiled for mathematical work by under- 
taking it too early. It is a pedagogical question 
often asked and much discussed, whether a child 
who is backward in one subject should be required 
to give intensive study to ity or should that subject 
be allowed to lapse while he goes on with those 
topics for which he seems to have capacity. The 
real solution of the difficulty would seem to be 
that the amount of intelligence required for the 
particular work should be ascertained and the 
amount of intelligence that the individual has 
should also be ascertained. If the latter is below 
the former then it is useless to attempt to make 
up for the lack of intelligence by excessive work, 
that problem should be laid aside until the child's 
development reaches the necessary level. 

It is proper, to ask in connection with this 
whole matter, how does it happen that so many 
people undertake work that is beyond them? 
The reasons are numerous, but it will be neces- 


sary to point out only a few. With children, it 
is very often a matter of parental pride, many 
parents are anxious that their children should 
show up a little better than their neighbor's chil- 
dren and consequently they push them on into the 
higher grades faster than their intelligence de- 
velops. This is usually accomplished by use of 
the memory. School work is so conducted that 
memory is a krge factor and most any chUd can, 
by persistent eflFort (the result of parental driv- 
ing), memorize enough of the school work to 
satisfy his teachers, get a requisite mark and so 
pass on into the higher grades. What has been 
called social heredity accoimts for a great deal of 
this. The father or mother, or both, have been 
college people and it is their ambition that all of 
their children should go through college, regard- 
less of whether the children are of college caliber 
or not. In the same way, university careers are 
prescribed and finally, the professions. The an- 
cestors have all been physicians, therefore the 
child must study medicine. Sometimes it is the 
question of money ; a certain profession or a cer- 
tain business is supposed to be lucrative so the 
children must be prepared to earn their living in 
that work. In many cases, the well known re- 
ligious enthusiasm of the adolescent is taken ad- 


vantage of and the youth decides that he will be 
a clergjrman which decision is heartily and en- 
thusiastically encouraged either by parents or as- 
sociates without any regard to the question 
whether the individual has the necessary intelli- 
gence or not. 

It is not necessary in this place to point out the 
evil consequences of these mistaken choices. It 
may be said by way of a caution however, that not 
all the failures in these various lines are due solely 
to the lack of intelligence. We shall discuss later 
some of the other qualities to be taken into con- 
sideration, but we would emphasize our thesis 
that the correct determination of the mental level 
of the individual would save vast numbers of these 

It is natural to raise the question just here 
as to whether it would not be a serious humili- 
ation for an individual to discover that he has 
not sufficient intelligence to imdertake a given 
line of work. The reply is first, whatever the 
momentary humiliation, it can never compare 
with the humiliation of failure that is siu*e to 
come later, or with the unhappiness that is the 
constant accompaniment of worrying through 
the years working at a task that is beyond one*s 
ability. The second answer is, that it is only 


a question of custom and frequency. For a single 
individual to be pointed out as not having suffic- 
ient intelligence to become a doctor while the rest 
of his group were supposed to have the requisite 
intelligence, would be somewhat humiliating; 
but if the intelligence of each member of the 
group were determined and all were found to 
have approximately the same, even though it 
were below that required for a particular pro- 
fession would not be hiuniliating. Moreover, 
it is not so new and strange as at first appears. 
Many people today are advised not to imdertake 
this or that profession or business because they 
have not the requisite qualifications. The ap- 
plication of the facts of mental level is only a 
more scientific way at getting at the same result. 
We may pass now to the next type. This 
group comprises those who have more intelligence 
than the work requires. At first sight, one would 
be inclined to expect that this would be a much 
smaller group than the other. However statistics 
of school children, while not yet sufficiently ac- 
curate to determine the absolute ratio, neverthe- 
less do not indicate that this is a very snlall group. 
The same study referred to above showed that in 
the first grade, there were thirty-one children of 
seven year mentality and thirteen of eight year 


mentality. It may very probably be safely as- 
smned that some of these had just entered school 
and would not long remain in the first grade ; but 
in the fourth grade, we have thirty-seven with ten 
year mentality, two with eleven yeat mentality 
and two with twelve year mentaUty; in the fifth 
grade. I^enty-eight with eleven year mentaUty 
L fiurteen with twelve year mentaUty. SrJ- 
larly in other grades. It has been repeatedly as- 
serted that the reason for this condition in the 
public school, is the strong tendency of teachers 
to be guided by stature and chronological age 
more than by mental capacity. There is also a 
natural reluctance to giving up the bright pupil 
and passmg him on to the next higher grade. 

When it comes to college and university and 
the adult affairs of life the situation is apparently 
somewhat different. It seems there, to be largely 
a matter of volition. Every college professor 
knows of students whom he believes to have the 
intelligence to do much more than they are doing. 
The same in the daily walks of life. Modesty and 
lack of sufficient self -appreciation, undoubtedly 
plays a part. A lack of energy, generally if not 
always having a physical basis, is another factor. 
But probably the largest element with the adult 
population is a matter of habit. One who gets 


his habits of life fixed, even though he finds him- 
self doing work that is more or less distasteful 
largely because it does not call for all of his in- 
tellect, nevertheless hesitates to make a change 
because of the difficulty of starting new habits. 
A definite assurance, based upon scientific pro- 
cedure, that these individuals have an intelligence 
greater than they are using and that they are 
capable of doing more extensive work would un- 
doubtedly induce many of them to imdertake 
something where they could be more efficient. 

Once again society would be the gainer by a 
definite knowledge of the mental level of these 
persons. We have already stated that there are 
other things besides intelUgence, that determine 
efficiency, but since intelligence even here is a 
more or less important factor in controlling and 
determining the eflFect of these other elements, 
we must take them into consideration in this dis- 
cussion of mental levels. 

It has not infrequently been objected that the 
mental level of a person is not sufficient ; that the 
emotional nature is quite as important. It is very 
true that emotion plays a large part in individual 
efficiency. The man of violent emotion is liable 
to be inefficient through a wasting of his energy 
in emotional outbursts, while the man of weak 


emotions is apt to be inefficient because he does 
not have the emotional stimulus to hold him up to 
his capacity. Besides that, one's emotional tone 
has much to do with his efficiency. The poet 
sings, ^'Give us, Oh, give us the man who sings 
at his work, he will do more, he will do it better." 
The man who is chronically imhappy not only ac- 
complishes less in almost any line of work, but 
he is socially inefficient because of the way in 
which his chronic unhappiness interferes with his 
normal adjustment and adaptation to his en- 
vironment. He tends to make others imhappy 
as well as himself and interferes with that perfect 
cooperation which is essential to the highest effi- 
ciency in modem society. 

While all this is profoundly true, it must not 
be overlooked that the level of intelligence to a 
large degree determines the extent to which the 
individual either controls these tendencies of his 
emotional life or fails to control them. Nor must 
we forget the danger of reasoning in a circle here, 
since much of the chronic unhappiness is directly 
traceable to the fact that the individual is at- 
tempting to do a work for which his intelligence 
is not equal. Again, many times the emotional 
outbreak is due to an imcongenial environment 
which a better intelligence would prompt him to 


change. Still better, as we shall see later this 
emotional condition has a physical basis, which 
while sometimes beyond control, is nevertheless 
in many cases capable of being much modified by 
a use of sufficient inteUigence, So that while, m 
view of these facts of the emotional life, we may 
not say that one*s efficiency is entirely propor- 
tional to his mental level, we can at least feel safe 
in declaring that a low mental level will exercise 
little or no control over the emotional life and 
therefore, those instincts and emotions which 
would tend to inefficiency will have their full 
force instead of being modified and controlled as 
they are by higher intelligence. So that in de- 
termining the mental level of an individual, we 
are ascertainmg how much power of control he 
has over these fundamental instincts and emo- 
tions, a fact which is obviously of no small value. 
We shall speak of only one of the other inher- 
ent traits that influence efficiency. It is common 
to speak of temperamental differences and to 
recognize that some temperaments are more effi- 
cient than others. While the doctrine of temper- 
aments is still to a large extent a concept under 
which to hide our ignorance yet we do know that 
the term temperament covers some of those 
fimdamental inherited differences which divide 


human beings into several rather well known 
groups. Our only concern with the matter here 
is to point out again that the level of intelligence 
has much to do witii the extent to which these 
temperam^ital peculiarities interfere with effi- 
ciency. While it is probably impossible to get 
away completely from one*s temperamental 
handicaps, yet like most handicaps it is usually 
po,«ble for intdlig^ce to tod . w.y .roJ 
them. So that here also, the intelligence level is, 
to a large extent, the determiner of the efficiency, 
even in cases of adverse temperament. 

So far we have endeavored to show that the 
subjective qualities upon which individual effi- 
ciency depends are: first, intelligence and sec- 
ond, another group of qualities more or less inde- 
pendent but nevertheless to a great extent con- 
trolled by intelligence. Fi-om this fact we wish to 
maintain the thesis that a knowledge of the in- 
telligence level and a conscious effort to fit every 
man to his work in accordance with his intelli- 
gence level, is the surest way of promoting social 
efficiency. At this point arises a question which 
has frequently been asked, as to whether these 
mental levels, emotional types and temperamen- 
tal peculiarities are so fixed as to be unchangeable 
and whether we are therefore justified in attempt- 


ing to adapt the work to the individual rather 
than try to change some of these conditions to 
bring the man up to the level necessary for a par- 
ticular task. In other words, to take a concrete 
example, suppose a yoimg man has the ambition 
to become a physician. Even though he should 
find he has a low mental level, emotional peculi- 
arities and temperamental idiosyncrasies, will not 
his ambition make up for all these negative condi- 
tions, so that he succeeds in spite of them? The 
reader will undoubtedly be able to cite instances 
that seem to indicate that this is the fact, but be- 
cause the mental level has never been determined 
in these cases, it is possible to say that they are 
not cases in point because the mental level may 
have been adequate to the accomplishment of the 
task, and consequently it was not a case of the 
ambition or the circumstances overcoming mental 
weakness. Moreover, we are compelled to con- 
clude that this actually is the situation because of 
what we know of the nature of intelligence. This 
comes from the fact that these conditions that w^ 
are discussing are definitely determined by a 
physical condition which is, to a high degree, im- 

The study of f eeble-mindedness has confirmed 
our belief that intelligence is a matter of brain 


cells and neuron patterns, and still more defi- 
nitely, it is a question of the development of the 
larger association areas of the hrain, the function- 
ing of which develops relatively late, and hence 
this development is particularly liable to arrest; 
moreover when such arrest has taken place, there 
is no evidence that it ever starts up again. This 
means of course, that once a person's mental level 
is determined, there is no known method of 
changing it. During the period of development 
throughout childhood and youth, a single deter- 
mination is not always sufficient to enable us to 
say that any arrest has taken place. Indeed, if a 
child has the mental level corresponding to his 
chronological age, there is every reason to expect 
that his mental level will correspond to his age a 
year later and so on until complete development 
has taken place. 

But experience has taught us that if the mental 
level is as much as three years lower than the 
chronological age, it is practically safe to assume 
that arrest has already taken place and that the 
level will never be higher, or at least significantly 
so.* Moreover, the indications are, that the nor- 

*We are speaking here of uncomplicated arrest of develop- 
ment. Many a low intelligence rating is due to mental disease — 
insanity. Even in children this is not uncommon. In all sucli 


mal development ceases, as a rule, somewhere 
near the completion of the adolescent period. 
Therefore, when the mental level of an adult has 
been ascertained, it is safe to conclude that this 
will never be changed. As explained in an earlier 
lecture, this of course, does not mean that the per- 
son may not acquire knowledge. In regard to 
the emotional peculiarities, it is believed that these 
are dependent upon the structure and functioning 
of the ductless glands and that up to the present 
time, there is no known way of materially chang- 
ing these conditions. 

There is, however, one exception to this which 
is so significant as to give us some hope that fur- 
ther results may eventually be obtained. The 
absence or loss of function of the thyroid gland 
gives rise to a peculiar form of physical and 
mental arrest of development found in the Cretin. 
It is f oimd that the administration of the extract 
of thyroid gland materially changes this condi- 
tion. Moreover, Cannon has discovered that the 
injection of the extract of the adrenal glands 
produces all the symptoms of fear and anger that 
may be brought about by any actual situation. 
These facts give hope that some day, there may 

cases the 'Cental age" means very little; it is not indicative of a 
mental 2#v#l but rather of an average of mmUal in$quaUtie$, 


be some more definite control of these unusual 
emotional conditions. Whether temperamental 
peculiarities are also amenable to any such treat- 
ment is as yet entirely unknown, but one may 
still insist that whatever may be the possibilities 
of modifying these other conditions, it is the in- 
telligence that is the final determiner in these 
cases, and that until some method of developing 
the larger association areas is discovered, there is 
no hope of our ever producing any material 
change in this line. 

Thus far we have dwelt upon the dependence 
of efficiency upon intelligence and other subjec- 
tive conditions. There are three other conditions 
that should receive at least a passing mention. 
One of these is the energy of the individual which 
is mainly a physical matter, a question of diges- 
tion and assimilation, heart activity and blood 
composition, to which again, the man of intelli- 
gence gives due consideration, while the unintel- 
ligent person is wholly ignorant of the problem 
and the relation of these conditions either to him- 
self or to society. 

It is hardly necessary to say more than has al- 
ready been said about the relation of knowledge 
to individual and social efficiency. Obviously a 
person without knowledge has very little value; 


except in the most simple routine matters, his 
knowledge may be limited to the simple thing of 
what to do. Other things being equal, the more 
knowledge one has the more he is likely to be able 
to meet the situation and adjust himself to 
changes of environment, and we have already 
stated to what extent the acquisition of knowl- 
edge is dependent upon the intelligence. 

We cannot pass so lightly over what we may 
call the social adjustment. Robinson Crusoe 
on his island was efficient mainly on account of his 
intelligence, his energy, his knowledge and un- 
doubtedly somewhat from his temperamental and 
emotional conditions. There was practically no 
problem of social adjustment. An approxi- 
mately similar condition existed, perhaps, with 
primitive man when he lived largely by himself 
and far enough from his neighbors so that very 
few social adjustments were required. But as 
soon as man began to congregate in groups, there 
arose at once the question of social adjustment 
and the problem has increased in complexity with 
every move which has tended to crowd individuals 
closer together. We are accustomed to regard 
ability to adapt one's self to his environment as 
a measure of intelligeace. 

In view of the facts and considerations of the 


previous lecture, it is easy to see that mental 
levels are of immense significance in relation to 
the problem of human eflBeiency. Since eflBciency 
is largely a question of the wise adjustment of 
means to ends, it is obvious that persons of little 
intelligence will be capable of only the simplest 
adjustment. It is the inability to make any but 
the very simplest adjustments which constitutes 
f eeble-mindedness, and it is because of this inabil- 
ity that the defective is so inefficient that he can 
rarely earn sufficient to maintain himself. Edu- 
cation for the normal child consists in giving him 
such a stock of experiences and general principles 
that he is able to adapt himself to any of the ordi- 
nary situations of life; and with increasing ex- 
perience, to almost any situation that may come 
up. The feeble-minded person, on the other 
hand, cannot be given the general principles. He 
can only understand concrete situations. Conse- 
quently when a new situation arises which is dif- 
ferent from any that he has seen, having no gen- 
eral laws or principles that he can call upon, he is 
unable to meet it. The extent of these limitations 
is often surprising. For instance, a feeble-mind- 
ed girl who might have been taught to make bread 
according to a very definite formula would be ut- 
terly helpless if told to make half the usual 


amount; while the cook who reasoned that if it 
took three minutes to boil one egg, it would take 
six minutes to boil two might be above the moron 
grade, although very little. When it comes to 
steaming eggs six minutes in a pint of hot water 
for one egg, it requires a relatively high grade of 
intelligence to understand that two eggs require 
a quart of hot water rather than twelve minutes 
in a pint of water. 

It is easy to see that diflferent material situa- 
tions require diflferent degrees of intelligence and 
it is common in the business world to estimate a 
man's mentality and decide whether or not he is 
capable of meeting a diflferent class of situations. 

It is not necessary to go further into this phase 
of the problem but there is another aspect of the 
same problem which is not so frequently appre- 
ciated. If adjustment to the environment even 
roughly measures the intelligence of the individ- 
ual, the most diflScult adjustment of all and that 
requiring the highest intelligence, is adaptation 
to the human environment. Many a person can 
adapt himself to live in any kind of a house, in 
any kind of climate and even to most any kind of 
food, but to be able to adapt one's self to all kinds 
of human beings is indeed diflScult, and it is here 
that many persons of relatively good intelligence 


fail. It is true that often the apparent cause of 
this failure is something else than the intelligence, 
namely, some emotional or temperamental 
peculiarity; but we have already seen that intelli- 
gence, if rightly applied, may, and we know does 
to a large extent, overcome this difficulty. But in 
proportion as these peculiarities are difficult the 
intelligence must be correspondingly high. The 
quarrels and squabbles and feuds that are so com- 
mon in certain classes of society are usually found 
accompanied with at least only a moderate degree 
of intelligence. 

That such failure of adjustment means ineffi- 
ciency, both for the individual and for the social 
group of which such mdividuals are a part, is ob- 
vious. When these difficulties arise between indi- 
viduals or groups of individuals of moderate in- 
telligence, the matter seems easily explainable. 
But when, as not infrequently occurs, similar dif- 
ficulties arise between a person of high intelli- 
gence and one of moderate intelligence another 
factor must be considered, for at first thought the 
explanation is not obvious. This factor again 
takes us back to our view of mental levels, since 
experience seems to confirm the view that the dif- 
ficulty arises from the fact that the person of 
high intelligence has assumed that the other per- 


son has equal intelligence and therefore, equal re- 
sponsibility. Had the intelligent member of the 
controversy appreciated the fact that his oppo- 
nent was of low mentality, and consequently of 
less responsibility, his whole attitude would have 
been different and his treatment different, with 
the almost certain result that no conflict would 
have occurred. 

In the preceding discussion we have attempted 
to show that while intelligence or mental level is 
not the solef actor in human efficiency, it is never- 
theless, the determining factor and that our social 
inefficiency of which we are more or less conscious, 
is due primarily to the large percentage of low 
intelligence and secondly to a lack of apprecia- 
tion of relatively low intelligence by those of 
higher intelligence. 

We have shown in the first lecture that it is 
possible to measure the mental level with a high 
degree of accuracy for the yoimger years, up to 
twelve at least, and with perhaps less accuracy 
up to nineteen. We have as yet no satisfactory 
method of determining with accuracy the higher 
levels. Experience has proved beyond a doubt 
ttiat an intelligence below the eight year level is 
utterly incapable of functioning as an efficient 
member of society. From the eight to the twelve 



year level, we have a group called morons who 
while of low mental eflBciency are nevertheless in 
some cases and imder most favorable circum- 
stances capable of contributing more or less 
toward their own support. The proportion of 
those so capable naturally increases as the mental 
level rises. The favorable conditions alluded to, 
comprise first, a favorable temperament, second 
a favorable environment with careful training, 
and thirdly, a more or less constant supervision. 

A favorable temperament is one that renders 
the individual quiet, obedient, easily satisfied and 
not requiring excitement; as contrasted with 
those individuals who are nervous, irritable and 
have a constant craving for excitement without 
which they are unhappy and to a large degree, 

By favorable environment, we mean not only 
decent physical surroundings but associates who 
are moral, reasonably intelligent and have a hu- 
man interest in this person who does not get 
along so easily as others — for example, an em- 
ployer, overseer or foreman, who will have con- 
siderable patience, be willing to give needed di- 
rections and instructions and even repeat them 
until the person becomes capable of doing the 
work. It is the history of these people of low 


mentality, so constant as to be almost diagnostic, 
that they are constantly changing jobs. This is 
largely because they make mistakes and require 
more direction than foremen are willing to give. 
In other cases, of course, it is due to the fact that 
with their weakened minds and lack of acquired 
attention, they cannot stick to one thing long. 

In view of the foregoing facts and discussion 
it is easy to see why himian society is relatively 
inefficient. Knowing nothing of mental levels 
beyond a crude appreciation of the fact that some 
men are certainly more intelligent than others, 
we have made no serious attempt to fit the man to 
the job. It is true the employer interviews the 
employee «,d attempts to IrL some subjective 
impression as to whether he is probably capable 
of doing the work required. Some employers 
rather pride themselves vpon their ability to make 
correct judgment on such cases but most people 
feel that it is a lucky chance if they hit it right. 
We sometimes require the testimony of other em- 
ployers but any one who has had large experience 
^vith these testimonials is very apt to say that they 
are worthless. In other cases we hold some form 
of examination but that again is notoriously un- 
satisfactory, largely as we now know because 
such examinations generally test only technical 


knowledge which a person may have acquired by 
a system of cramming or by some other method 
and in either case is incapable of applying his 
knowledge when the conditions are changed. 

Of late, progressive employers in industries 
have inaugurated a sort of tryout system and if 
in a reasonable time a man is not efficient in one 
line of work, they attempt to discover some other 
job in which he can work successfully; but all this 
is a crude makeshift in comparison to the results 
of a scientific determination of the mental level 
of the individual. 

When one contemplates the enormous propor- 
tion of misfits that must exist in the industrial 
world and that such misfits mean discontent and 
unhappiness for the employee, one can but won- 
der how much of the present unrest in such circles 
is due to this fact. A man who is doing work that 
is well within the capacity of his intelUgence and 
yet that calls forth all his ability is apt to be 
happy and contented and it is very difiicult to 
disturb any such person by any kind of agitation. 

Perhaps the most serious part of this whole 
problem of inefficiency concerns that lowest ten 
per cent who have a mental level so much lower 
than we could have imagined, so much lower than 
many people are willing to admit even today, so 


wholly unrecognized and unappreciated that we 
have never understood it. As a result of this fail- 
ure to understand this type, we have concluded 
that their failures were due to maliciousness or to 
lack of knowledge or to lack of opportunity. We 
have accordingly wasted an immense amoynt of 
energy, in trying to reform them by punishment 
or in giving them better opportunity. All of 
these efforts have been failures because we did 
not understand the nature of the people that we 
were working with. Had we appreciated the fact 
that they were of very low mentality and were in 
reality doing the best that they could with their 
limited intelligence, our treatment would cer- 
tainly have been radically diflferent. We would 
have eliminated them from the group of self- 
directing, efficient people and realized that they 
must always be dependent upon persons of su- 
perior intelligence and the only success that we 
could hope for would lie in the direction of plac- 
ing them in an artificial environment where the 
conditions were simplified and kei)t simple by the 
care and oversight of intelligent people. We 
shall discuss this further in the next lecture. 

It may be too much to expect that society will 
ever be so perfectly organized that every indi- 
\'idual will be working at the highest possible effi- 


ciency but it is not at all impossible to handle this 
lowest group. They are amenable to any reason- 
able treatment that we may prescribe for them 
and whenever society is ready to eliminate them 
from the main group and to provide for them in 
ways that will make them happy and as efficient 
as they, with their limited intelligence can be 
made, we will at least have increased the total effi- 
ciency to an almost unbelievable extent. 

It is said that the busy bee, so often held up to 
us as a model of industrious work, actually works 
twenty minutes a day. The explanation of the 
great amount that he accomplishes is said to be 
in the fact of the perfect organization of the hive. 
PeAaps it would be wiser for us to emulate the 
bee's social organization more and his supposed 
industry less. 


A delinquent is literally one who has been left 
behind. In the army, on the march such a per- 
son is called a straggler; in the onward march of 
civilization he becomes one who neglects or fails 
to perform a duty. When the duty is something 
that is owed to society, the neglect to perform it 
becomes a fault or a misdemeanor, provided al- 
ways that the person is supposed to have the ca- 
pacity for performing this duty. It is in the lat- 
ter sense that we use the term in the present dis- 
cussion, in other words, it is social and moral de- 
linquency that is under consideration. 

The delinquent is the one who does not come 
up to the mark in the performance of those duties 
which the group has placed upon every member. 
Delinquency is an offense because it impairs the 
eflBciency of the group. Just as the army cannot 
effectively attack the enemy if many of its mem- 
bers are stragglers. So the advance of the total 
group in civilization is impeded by every case of 
delinquency of its members. So far as the wel- 
fare of the group is concerned, it matters not 
what may be the cause of the delinquency, its 


efficiency is marred just the same. So far as the 
individuals are concerned, we are accustomed to 
divide them into two groups: those whose delin- 
quency is the result of conditions beyond their 
control and those whose delinquency is the result 
of carelessness, indifference or a willful refusal to 
comply with the demands of the group as a whole. 

In the latter case we call the delinquency an 
offense, in the former merely a defect. Our 
treatment of the delinquent is determined thus by 
the classification. In the one case we hold the de- 
linquent individually responsible; in the other 
case, society regards it as an unavoidable condi- 
tion. In the former case we expect the indi- 
vidual to overcome his delinquency and we take 
every means to persuade him so to do. In the 
latter case society holds itself more or less respon- 
sible and attempts to remove the conditions and 
thus increase the total efficiency. 

In the evolution of civilization there has been 
a constant change in the classification in the di- 
rection of a taking over by the group, of respon- 
sibiHties that were formerly placed upon the in- 
dividual. If therefore, we are to judge by the 
past we shall conclude that the future will find 
society holding itself responsible for many con- 
ditions now blamed upon the individual. It is 


therefore profitable to discover the causes of de- 
Hnquency and to ascertain under what circum- 
stances these are under the control of the indi- 
vidual and under what circumstances they are 
beyond his control, with the result that we may 
determine whether the methods of treatment are 
to be applied to the individual, or whether society 
shall reform itself and its methods. 

There has grown up another grouping of de- 
linquency: into juvenile delinquency and adult 
delinquency or criminality. We shall consider 
first and chiefly, juvenile delinquency partly be- 
cause it has been more studied, partly because we 
find the simpler and more fundamental causes, 
and partly because it is more profitable. It is 
more profitable because the causes once discovered 
are more easily removed and the individual re- 
formed. We are fast coining to the practical, if 
somewhat hardhearted view, that efforts at re- 
forming the adult offender are largely futile and 
consequently, it is wisest to deal with the adult 
offender as best we may, and to put our chief 
efforts upon the prevention of delinquency in the 
youth from whom the adult oflFenders as a rule, 
grow. In this way we shall soonest and most 
successfully eliminate the adult offender. 

Fifty years ago the chief efforts of temperance 


reformers were centered upon reforming the 
adult drunkard. Some thirty years ago this em- 
phasis was changed and the chief efiports were 
placed upon the education of children, and the 
efiPects of alcohol upon the human system, and the 
adult drunkard was largely given up as a hope- 
less task, to be dealt with as a nuisance or toler- 
ated as best we could until natural causes and the 
effects of his habits took him out of the way. The 
good results of this wiser policy have been evi- 
denced in the great reduction of drunkenness 
and has a climax in the present national prohibi- 
tion. It is logical and natural to expect a simi- 
lar result when we attack crime and misdemeanor 
in the same way, namely by dealing with adult 
offenders by such summary methods as seem most 
efficient in protecting us from their criminal acts 
and devoting our main eflForts at preventing juve- 
nile delinquency. We shall indeed find that some 
of the causes of juvenile delinquency are equally 
causes of adult delinquency and crime, and that 
the methods that we may devise for preventing 
juvenile delinquency may equally well be applied 
to this class of adult crimes. 

What, then, are the causes of juvenile delin- 
quency? It is one of the triumphs of modem 
science that it has taught us to beware of the 


vague general terms that formerly were consid- 
ered satisfactory. Most of us were brought up to 
beHeve in, and to be satisfied with the answer to 
the foregoing question, that juvenile offenses 
were due to wickedness, some kind of inibom 
viciousness as unexplainable as it was unaccount- 
able and irremediable. If we asked "What is 
wickedness"? we were told that it was sin, and 
were immediately launched into a theological dis- 
cussion. When once it began to be realized how 
vague and useless were these answers to the ques- 
tion, then we began to apply to this problem some 
of our scientific methods of insisting upon defi- 
nite, concrete, simple questions to be satisfied with 
equally defitiite ^aad concrete answers. We 
asked ourselves "Why does a child go wrong?'* 
The answer came, in the language of Superinten- 
dent Johnstone "Either because he does not know 
any better, or because he cannot help it." An 
answer somewhat startling at first thought and 
yet one which leads to further analysis with sur- 
prisingly satisfactory results. 

We realize that we have always excused some 
things in some children on the ground that they 
did not know any better. It is equally clear that 
we have been in the habit of excusing some mis- 
demeanors of some person on the ground that 


they could not help it. It is with the feeling of 
pity rather than censure that we read that some 
person in a fit of insanity has killed a fellow be- 
ing. The new thought in this connection is that 
we have only to extend these two principles in 
order to account for practically all of juvenile 
delinquency and a large part of adult criminality. 
The barrier which until recently has prevented 
our extending these principles has been a dog- 
matic assertion that many people, in the phrase- 
ology of the old song, are "big enough and old 
enough and ought to know better." What we 
did not realize was that size and age are not suffi- 
cient to determine responsibility, and that the 
real condition of the man, the forces actuating 
him to conduct, are not so easily discerned. We 
excuse a man for his act or his failure to act when 
he is obviously sick. We are beginning to realize 
that many a person suffers from actual and seri- 
ous physical illness who gives no outward sign 
of it, at least to the layman and often even to the 
physician. Similarly have we learned that there 
are many people who, while they are big enough 
and old enough nevertheless have not mind 
enough to learn to know better. 

In our thinking on these topics we have been 
guilty of many serious inconsistencies and con- 


tradictions. On the one hand, we have reasoned 
that no sane, intelligent man would commit the 
crime that this particular man has committed, 
nevertheless we have looked at this man and said 
that he is both intelligent and sane, and being in- 
telligent and sane he is responsible for his crime 
and therefore must be punished. We next ask 
why should he be punished? What is the pur- 
pose? It has been said that there have been at 
least three stages in the evolution of our thought 
on this question. The old primitive idea was that 
of vengeance, the crude notion that if the perpe- 
trator of the crime was made to suffer that it 
somehow atoned for the crime. It was the eye 
for an eye and a tooth for a tooth idea. It in no 
way restored the original conditions or removed 
the harm that had been done, but it somehow satis- 
fied a primitive idea of vengeance. Later as hu- 
man intelligence developed and man began to 
think of these things, he said "there is no sense in 
this procedure, we should only punish in order 
to deter others from committing a like crime." 
That idea still prevails and is the chief argument 
for capital punishment and the long term sen- 
tence. What may be called the present concep- 
tion of punishment, at least in the minds of those 
who have given it the most thought and attained 


the broadest view, is that punishment, legal pun- 
ishment of adult criminals, like the simple punish- 
ments of children, is for the purpose of reforming 
the criminal. The investigation of the causes of 
delinquency and crime leads logically to a fourth 
attitude toward the whole question, namely that 
of the prevention of crime as vastly better even 
than curing the criminal. 

Now the one thing that makes all this rational 
and easily intelligible, that puts us in the right 
attitude toward the problem is the doctrine of 
mental levels. When we realize that it is not a 
question of stature or age but of mentality that 
determines an individual's conduct, we shall cease 
to rely upon these factors but instead, demand to 
know what is the mental level of the offender, 
then we may discover that perhaps he did not 
know any better, not because he was not old 
enough, not because an effort had not been made 
to teach him, but because he had not intelligence 
enough to learn. 

The effect of this view upon our attitude to- 
ward the offender is obvious, and this new atti- 
tude is of the utmost importance for our success 
in dealing with offenders, as well as Mrith the 
whole problem of prevention. It is fully appre- 
ciated by the intelligent, that the fundamental 


condition for winning a man to our way of think- 
ing is to convince him of our friendliness and in- 
terest in his welfare. Once let him get the im- 
pression that we are actuated by any other motive 
and every argument that we use is either denied 
or suspected. Now the moment we assume that 
a man is guilty and responsible, we put ourselves 
in a hostile attitude and cannot assume or pretend 
to that attitude of friendliness which is essential 
if we are to win him over to our way of thinking. 
On the other hand, once we have accepted the 
view that there are many persons of such inferior 
mental level that they either cannot know the 
significance of their action or cannot control their 
action and the possibility of our hostile attitude is 
removed, and we meet the situation in an atti- 
tude of sympathy or pity, the attitude most cal- 
culated to bring about best results. 

Is it after all rational, having thrown a man 
into a 5 X 7 stone cell closed by a steel barred 
door, then talking through the bars to tell him 
we love him and expect him to believe it ? 

So much for the a priori argument that since 
there are mental levels we may expect persons of 
the lower levels to commit offenses. Let us now 
see what are the facts. Are the persons who com- 
mit oflFenses really of low mental level? The 


answer is no longer in doubt and it is not neces- 
sary at this time and place to quote statistics or 
cite individual investigations. It is sufficient to 
state that every investigation of the mentality of 
criminals, misdemeanants, delinquents and other 
anti-social groups has proven beyond the possi- 
bility of contradiction that nearly all persons in 
these classes and in some cases all are of low men- 
tality. Moreover, a large percentage of all of the 
groups are of such low mentality as to be prop- 
erly denominated feeble-minded. These facts 
were at first only accepted and pointed out by 
those who were experienced in the use of tests for 
determining the mental level, and who were also 
experienced with the feeble-minded. But once it 
was pointed out it was readily accepted by a large 
proportion of those who had had most experience 
with the various classes of delinquents. A third 
group who had less faith in the tests of mentality, 
or whose insistence upon the responsibility of all 
human beings was great, or whose concept of low 
mentality was restricted to the idiot or the im- 
becile, have finally more or less reluctantly ad- 
mitted the facts. Actual tests of the mentality of 
scores of groups of criminals and delinquents, 
have given percentages varying from ten to 
eighty. This wide variation is due partly to the 


way in which the group has been selected and 
partly to the greater or less eonservatdsm in in- 
terpreting the results of the tests. 

A few years ago a score or more wardens of 
penitentaries and refonnatories were asked what 
proportion of their inmates were, in their opinion, 
mentally defective. Their answers were of course 
based solely upon their subjective impressions, 
the result of working with these people for num- 
bers of years. The answers varied from none to 
a hundred percent; the average was about fifty 
percent. The majority of respondents giving 
percentages between thirty and eighty. Finally 
the results in the more recent tests since the meth- 
ods have been perfected and are better under- 
stood, have been steadily tending towards the 
larger percentage. 

In view of these facts it is no longer to be de- 
nied that the greatest single cause of delinquency 
and crime is low grade mentality, much of it with- 
in the limits of f eeble-mindedness. 

Since we are discussing delinquency and its 
causes, we must go beyond our main problem of 
mental levels and mention the other causes. In- 
sanity as a cause of crime has long been recog- 
nized and needs no discussion here. There is 
however, a new phase of this subject that is of 


such great importance as to merit a brief men- 
tion. Studies of juvenile delinquents have abun- 
dantly proved that a fair percentage of them are 
sufiPering from mental disease, which is often not 
clearly enough marked or sufficiently developed 
to be definitely named insanity. Some cases are 
clearly cases of dementia praecox; others are 
proved by later experience to be the first incipient 
stages of that concUtion ; other conditions detected 
still earlier have been spoken of by Myer as the 
soil upon which dementia praecox grows. There 
are still other psychopathic conditions not clearly 
to be classed in any of the recognized groups of 
insanities, yet nevertheless, as the sequel often 
proves, clearly cases of mental disease. Another 
cause of delinquency is epilepsy or epileptical 
conditions including the so-called psychic-epilepsy 
and epileptic equivalents. Healy has described a 
group which he calls cases of "mental conflict." 

Finally we pass to the acquired mental condi- 
tions, which may range all the way from those 
children who have been brought up in crime by 
their criminal parents, have been taught and 
practiced in the criminal acts, down to those who 
merely yield to natural instincts without ever hav- 
ing had the good fortune to have the evils of such 
conduct pointed oiit to lliem or to hav? sijflFered 


the consequences of their wrong doing to such an 
extent as to compel them to break the vicious 

Lastly we have a small group whose conduct 
cannot be accounted for on the basis of any of 
the above mentioned causes ; a group that would 
justify, if it could be justified, the old concept of 
pure wickedness. Nevertheless, we cannot fail 
to make use of the argument of progressive ap- 
proach and claim that since we have accounted 
for nearly all of the crimes and misdemeanors on 
the basis of more or less well understood physical, 
mental or social conditions, if we could get at the 
facts we would find these few also were to be ex- 
plained without recourse to the doctrine of origi- 
nal sin. 

The purpose of studying causes is of course to 
know better how to prevent as well as to treat and 
cure. We must now consider the treatment 
and prevention of delinquency and crime. It 
goes without saying that where the causes are 
known and can be removed, they should be re- 
moved. If alcohol has caused a large proportion 
of adult criminality, national prohibition may 
hopefully be looked to to prevent that proportion 
of crime. But when once the crime or misde- 
meanor has been committed, and especially when 


the cause though known, cannot be removed, how 
shall we treat the oflFender? In the case of en- 
vironmental cases it is obvious that the individual 
must be removed from the bad environment. This 
is not always sufficient, as in those cases where 
the person has formed vicious habits so that he 
will continue his offending practices in almost 
any envircmment. When such is the case it seems 
that there is nothing to do but to so limit his en- 
vironment that it shall become impossible for him 
to continue the practice. The extreme is of 
course confining such a person in a prison for 
such lenirth of time as it may take to break the 
habit, now long a time thkt wiU require, can 
often be determined only by experiment such as 
placing the person on parole after a certain time 
and giving him an opportunity to demonstrate 
what is his actual condition. Where the conduct 
is due to disease, mental or otherwise, if the dis- 
ease can be cured, that generally means the cure 
of the offense. In the case of incurable diseases 
it is obvious that the only thing to do is to care 
for the offenders but they must be cared for as 
diseased persons rather than as criminals. Our 
institutions for the criminal insane offer an illus- 
tration of the extreme of this condition. 

Finally we get back to our specific problem of 


the. cases of low mentality, such as the feeble- 
minded. Here we have two distinct groups; 
those who are amenable to treatment and those 
who call for the application of methods of deten- 
tion. The feeble-minded person who has com- 
mitted an offense may or may not have formed 
the habit that is more or less difficult to break. As 
a matter of fact, experience has proved that a 
very large proportion of the feeble-minded de- 
linquents and criminals have not formed any per- 
persistent habit but rather have merely reacted to 
the wrong treatment which they have received 
from persons who did not understand their men- 
tal level. Once such defectives are placed in the 
care of persons who do understand them, there is 
no recurrence of the offense. 

The following is typical : 

A gentleman brought his seventeen year old 
boy to an institution for feeble-minded. When 
arrangements had been made the father took his 
departure, the superintendent accompanying hun 
to the door leaving the boy in the office. Upon 
his return to his office the superintendent said to 
the boy, "Now, John, you may go to your cot- 
tage.'* John replied, "I ain*t going to the cot- 
tage. I ain*t going to stay here. I wouldn't stay 
here even if God Almighty paid the bills. You 


can't telephone, I have cut the wires. I have cut 
your gloves all to pieces and I have cut your over- 
coat." This was true, except the last, and well 
shows his desperate character. He, of course, did 
go to his cottage and was soon so taken up with 
his new surroundings that he forgot his grouch 
and the next morning was seen going to his 
''work'' arm in arm with a middle grade imbecile, 
perfectly happy; and during his entire stay of 
some years never gave the slightest trouble. 

In at least ninety percent of cases the feeble- 
minded delinquent when placed in the institution 
becomes thoroughly tractable and obedient, a 
pleasant and agreeable inmate not to be distin- 
guished from the others of his mental level. The 
few who have formed habits which they cannot 
control, must of course like the others that we 
have spoken of be kept in rather close quarters. 
The most troublesome group in this class is the 
sex oflFender, especially the female. The male is 
not quite so serious a problem since his feeble- 
mindedness renders him inexpert in making op- 
portunities for wrong-doing and normal women 
will seldom have anything to do with feeble- 
minded men. With the female, it is quite dif- 
ferent; having once learned the significance of 
this life she is always impelled by this instinct 


common to humanity; and exercising no control 
over her impulses easily finds a male to accept 
what she has to offer. The marked difference be^ 
tween the girl who has been brought up carefully 
in an institution and kept free from vice and the 
girl who comes into the institution after having 
formed these habits, points most unmistakably to 
the necessity of discovering those girls of low 
mental level and segregating them early and 
keeping them at least until the first strong im- 
pulses of adolescence have become somewhat 

There remains one group to be considered. 
Those of mentality just above that which is in- 
cluded in the group of the feeble-minded, but be- 
low that which insures normal conduct. This in 
turn raises the question of how these two are to 
be distinguished; where is the line to be drawn 
between feeble-mindedness and what is technic- 
ally called the dull normal person? It is a diffi- 
cult matter and possibly we may never be able to 
draw it accurately and yet it must be drawn for 
practical purposes. In law the matter seems to 
turn on the question of right and wrong, at least 
the law excuses from responsibility only those 
persons who are believed not to know right from 


Since this has given rise and continues to 
give rise to much discussion, it is worth while 
to consider agam the thesis which we wish to 
maintain and have repeatedly stated, that the 
feeble-minded even of high-grade, do not know 
right from wrong, in the sense and to the de- 
gree that must be within the meaning of the 
term as used in the law if it is to determine re- 
sponsibility. When we say that a person who 
knows that an act is wrong is responsible if he 
does it, we can only mean that he has a clear con- 
cept of what it means for an act to be wrong and 
that this is one of those acts. It is not reasonable 
to conclude that the law means that to know that 
it is wrong is simply to be able to say that it is 
wrong any more than you would conclude that a 
child knew right from wrong because he could 
read the two words in a book and knew the one 
from the other. 

It has proved to be exceedingly difficult to get 
intelligent people, especially parents, to appre- 
ciate the real condition of the child in respect to 
this matter. Most every intelligent parent who 
has not thought it out says, "A child of twelve 
not know right and wrong! why my child of six 
knows right and wrong." The idea is a common 
one. It is a confusing of what one knows from 


concrete experiences, with an abstract principle. 
The child of six has learned that a good many 
individual acts are wrong; but that is very far 
from knowing an abstract principle of right and 
wrong. It is still another step to recognize a 
specific action as belonging to the group of wrong 
things. A child of six or even less knows that un- 
supported objects fall to the ground and yet it 
is probable that no one would claim that a child 
of six or even twelve understands the law of 
gravitation. It is always difficult for one to com- 
prehend how another person can fail to under- 
stand something that he himself understands so 
weU. It is so obvious to us that lying, stealing, 
killing and other more common offenses are 
wrong that, it is difficult for us to appreciate that 
a lower grade of intelligence does not have the 
same appreciation of these things that we do. 

The only way for us to come to a correct judg- 
ment as to children's abilities in this line, is to get 
at it indirectly. Let us see if we as intelligent 
adults are ever puzzled on this question of right 
and wrong. We think we know that it is wrong 
to steal. Let me ask you, "Do you ever steal?" 
If I convict you of having stolen something in 
the past twenty-four hours, your defense as an 
honest man will be that you do not call it stealing 


and you and I may have a heated argument over 
the definition of the term. For example, you are 
riding in a street car; through an oversight the 
conductor does not coUect your fare, you know 
that he did not collect it but you do not go to him 
and hand him the nickel. Did you steal five cents 
from the car company? There is a frank differ- 
ence of opinion. Some hold that it is stealing, 
others maintain that it is the business of the con- 
ductor to collect fares. If he does not do it, he 
and not the passenger, has committed a fault. If 
intelligent beings are in doubt on this question, 
can we expect that children should not be in 
doubt? There are business deals carried through 
continually which some people hold as dishonest, 
while others maintain equally strongly that they 
are perfectly legitimate. If we are in doubt 
about these somewhat complicated problems, 
must we not admit the possibility that children 
may be ignorant on what are to us the most simple 

The writer has maintained and still maintains 
that a young man seventeen years of age with a 
mentality of eleven, who killed his school teacher 
did not faiow the nature and quality of his act and 
that it was wrong. That sounds like strange doc- 
trine but let us consider. Is it wrong to take 


human life under any circumstances? There are 
those who answer in the affirmative, but the ma- 
jority of people do nqt so answer, as is evidenced 
by the fact that the majority of our States ap- 
prove of capital punishment. It is right to take 
life under certain circumstances. In ordinary 
civil Ufe this right has been restricted in legal pro- 
cedure to the execution of murderers, but when 
a nation is at war the rightfulness of taking life 
is extended enormously. A sentinel is shot for 
sleepmg at his post and most people think that is 
right. Is it absurd to imagine that a twelve year 
old child could not imderstand how military ne- 
cessity makes it right to kill a man just because 
he fell asleep when he was expected to keep 
awake? Even in civil life we allow men to kill 
others and do not caU it wrong as for instance, in 
self defense. A considerable proportion of the 
time of our courts is spent in deciding particular 
cases as to whether it was right or wrong for the 
man to kill. Again we repeat : if it is so difficult 
for men of high intelligence to agree on these 
cases must we not admit that children may well 
be in doubt in cases that are to us much simpler? 
Moreover, most of these criminal acts are done 
in response to primitive, natural, human instincts. 
Lj^ing, stealing and killing were at one period. 


man's virtues. It is because we have come to 
live together in groups where each is dependent 
upon the rest, that these become vices and the 
more closely modem methods of living and civili- 
zation crowd us together, tiie mo^we find it 
necessary to regard an ever increasing number of 
acts as wrong. 

But some one says, ask the child and he will tell 
you that he knows it is wrong. But he might 
tell you he understood the binomial theorem. 
Would you believe him without testing it? In 
legal procedure we do not believe a man even 
when he says that he committed the crime. We 
cannot convict him on his own confession, except 
under special conditions. If you ask a child how 
he knows that it is wrong, he may tell you either 
that he did that thing once and got punished for 
it or else that he has heard somebody say it was 

To be able to say a thing is wrong because 
someone else has said it, is very far from knowing 
right and wrong, and that is the fact usually over- 
looked. We think because children can say what 
we would like them to say that therefore they 
understand. When it comes to the question of 
responsibility, this is a serious error. Your six 
year old child or even your ten year old, whom 

LEVELS 6P intelligence 85 

you think knows right and wrong, in reality 
knows only that certain things which he has actu- 
ally experienced and for which he has suffered 
punishment, are wrong. For the rest it is mere 
hearsay and not a matter of conscience at all. In 
other words, it is again the question of hearsay 
knowledge as contrasted with an intelligent im- 
derstanding of the case. It may be maintained 
that the child does understand that the thing is 
wrong but is imable to control himself. We will 
not deny that that is a description of cases that do 
exist and yet it is improbable even in those cases 
that the child appreciateis that the act in question 
is exactly like other acts that he knows are wrong. 
Precisely as a man kills another without realiz- 
ing that it comes under the general law of *Thou 
shalt not kill.' He thinks that killing in self de- 
fense is not the kind of killing referred to in the 
law. When Jean Gianini killed his teacher, he 
said he believed it was right and he would do it 
again imder the same circumstances. He thought 
that he had been wronged by the teacher and it 
was perfectly right for him to take vengeance as 
he did. His attitude was precisely that of a man 
who shoots another in self defense and says he 
would do it again imder similar circumstances. 
The only difference is that in a case of self de- 


f ense, adult high intelligence maintains that this 
is the proper procedure, whereas the same intel- 
ligence maintains that Jean Gianini's act does not 
come under the act of justifiable homicide, but 
Jean Gianini is feeble-minded and totally unable 
to appreciate the difference in the circumstances 
of the two cases. Moreover this is entirely in 
agreement with the results of study into the 
mental makeup of the feeble-minded. A fimda- 
mental principle long recognized is that these 
persons cannot deal with abstractions. They 
can learn concrete experiences, but they are un- 
able to generalize from those experiences and 
formulate a general principle and no one is likely 
to deny that moral principles are the hardest of 
all to formulate. 

As we have already pointed out, we ourselves 
are not able to agree that all stealing is wrong or 
all lying or all homicide. A moron girl of seven- 
teen years of age was recently asked why she 
committed her first sex offense. She replied per- 
fectly naively, ''Because a man kept asking me 
to.** It is very probable that she would have said 
that she knew that it was wrong, nevertheless it 
is clear that she had no general principle of the 
wrongfulness of that type of act and not having 
such general principle, the fact that a man re- 


peatedly asked her to do this, made a special case 
of it and not one that fell under the formula that 
she had learned to repeat. The same girl was 
asked why she shot a man and replied, ''Because 
a man told me to/' In other words, one does not 
know that a thing is wrong imtil he has had suffi- 
cient experience in that particular line for it to 
become what we might call a moral reflex, to be 
settled in the lower nerve centers so that no ques- 
tion in regard to it arises. Honest people have 
thus reduced the question of deliberately stealing 
and upon every occasion that would come imder 
that head, their action is prompt and emphatic. 
It is stealing and that settles it, they will not do 
it; but we have only to modify the circumstances 
a little, so that a doubt arises and one hesitates as 
to whether this act would be stealing or not, to 
find the best of us sometimes yielding. In those 
cases we do not know that it is wrong. If we did, 
we would not do it. 

We conclude then, the feeble-minded do not 
know right and wrong though they may be taught 
and will then know, that a great many acts are 
wrong. When we come to the group on the bor- 
derline between the feeble-minded and the normal 
or only a little above that line, we have no rule 
to follow. Each must be settled on its own 


merits ; at least until the time comes that we know 
more about these cases. The treatment of these 
cases however, is not so difficult since it is entirely 
possible that we have a right to assume that even 
if they do not know that it is wrong, they are 
capable of learning that fact, and therefore the 
particular occasion should receive its proper pun- 
ishment as a part of their education. We are 
thinking now of the type which has been desig- 
nated as the defective delinquent. These are 
particularly girls who are delinquent along sex 
lines. Such delinquency cannot be tolerated and 
if these girls show an incapacity for controlling 
themselves and acting properly, they must be 
placed where they will not meet the temptations 
and they must be kept there indefinitely or imtil 
the habit is broken down. 

It remains only to speak of the intelligent 
criminals. These are divisible into at least two 
groups, the accidental criminal and the profes- 
sional or the professional in the making; or per- 
haps we should say the voluntary and the invol- 
untary criminal. The accidental or involtmtary 
criminal needs no discussion. He is the man who 
has unintentionally violated the law and were it 
not for the fact that it is believed to be imwise to 
allow any exceptions, we should always excuse 


such a man and let it go ; but as it is always easier 
to follow the rule than to justify exceptions, 
these cases must usually pay the penalty. 

Nor shaU we at this time discuss extensively the 
volitional criminal, the man who chooses criminal- 
ity as a career. That has been discussed by oth- 
ers and it is only necessary to point out here that 
inasmuch as a large percentage of criminals prove 
to be of low intelligence, all criminals should be 
examined as to their mentality. Those who are 
found to have normal and even above average 
mentality must be explained of course by some 
other means such as environment or pecuUar tem- 
perament and treatment should be applied ac- 
cording to the conditions foimd. We may have 
to conclude that for these cases the most drastic 
punishment is necessary. In other words, if there 
are people who deliberately and intelligently 
choose a life of crime, then the results should be 
made so imcomfortable that every such intelli- 
gent criminal would perceive that it was undesir- 
able and did not pay. 

Finally we must point out that if the doctrine 
of mental levels were applied to problems of de- 
linquency and criminality, a large proportion 
would be found to be of such low mental level 
that they could be cared for as feeble-minded. 


Another large group would be found to be only a 
little above this level and when their mentality was 
taken into consideration, their treatment could be 
made simpler and more rational and with better 
results. This would leave us with our high-grade 
group which would be relatively so small that it 
would be possible to devote all our energies to an 
intelligent study of those cases, with the good 
hope that when thus studied we would be able to 
solve the problem. 

We have attempted to show that the recognition 
of mental levels and the treatment of delinquents 
and criminals in accordance with their known 
mental levels would enormously simphfy the en- 
tire problem. In other words, we would gain 
what is always gained by a rational system of 
classification. We should divide our problem 
into groups and treat each group separately ac- 
cording to its merits. It may confidently be pre- 
dicted that this Mdll be the procedure of the future 
and when it comes to be the general practice, we 
will have removed many of our special problems. 

Lest it be thought that this is an idle prophecy, 
we shall conclude this lecture with a brief ac- 
count of the steps actually taken in this direction. 

In 1913 the Legislature of Ohio passed a law 
creating a Bureau of Juvenile Research to which 


all minors who in the opinion of the Juvenile 
Court required State care, must be sent for ex- 
amination and study before being finally assigned 
to an institution. This means that every such 
child gets a thorough mental and physical exami- 
nation and investigation into the conditions that 
may have led him to commit his misdemeanor. 

The Bureau is not yet thoroughly establii^hed 
because the Legislature which passed the law re- 
ferred to, failed to appropriate any money to 
provide buildings for the purpose. Later this 
oversight was corrected and $100,000. appropri- 
ated. Those buildings are now practically com- 
pleted. They include two cottages in which 
the children wiU be housed as long as they are 
needed to be kept under observation. As soon as 
their case is diagnosed, they are assigned to the 
appropriate institution; whether that be the 
School for the Feeble-Minded, the Hospital for 
the Insane or the Industrial School, or if it is 
thought more suitable, they may be placed in 
private families. 

The third building is a large laboratory where 
may be carried on all kinds of investigation that 
the cases seem to warrant. There will be trained 
psychologists for making the mental examina* 
tions ; also psychiatrists for investigation of pos- 


sible mental disease; there will be physicians for 
making thorough physical examinations; there 
will be a bio-chemist for the study of the physio- 
logical f unctionings ; there will be facilities for 
doing minor surgery, such as adenoids and ton- 
sils, and X-ray work; there wiU be dentists and 
there will be teachers and physical trainers and 
industrial trainers. It is expected that the great 
majority of children wiU not need to be detained 
long, the diagnosis will be fairly easy to make, 
but in the difl&cult cases the children may be kept 
in the cottages as long as is necessary, even weeks 
or months. 

A fourth building has been provided for by a 
legislative appropriation of $25,000. This will 
be a hospital for the sick children. 

Another clause in the law permits the Bureau 
of Juvenile Research to receive for examination 
and recommendation any child from any per- 
son having legal guardianship. This is indeed 
progress for it looks not to cure but to preven- 
tion. Already there are being brought in many 
children who are a little peculiar, a little unusu- 
ally troublesome at home or at school; and their 
cases are diagnosed and treatment recommended 
without waiting for them to commit a misde- 
meanor and get a court record. 


Nor does the Bureau confine its work to the 
mentally defective children. Many normal chil- 
dren are examined and many precocious children, 
so that mental levels are heing determined and hy 
means of a careful system of records every case 
becomes the basis for a future study as later ex- 
aminations are made. Besides the work done in 
the laboratory, which is located in Columbus, 
trained clinicians are being sent out over the 
State to examine children in Children's Homes, 
in Detention Homes and other places where they 
cannot conveniently be brought to the laboratory. 
Ultimately there will be sub-stations of the Bu- 
reau in the principal cities so that it will not be 
necessary to send all the children to Columbus; 
they can be examined in their home city and from 
there be assigned to their proper institutions. 
School children, I mean entire schools, are being 
examined and recommendations made for special 
classes in the public schools. Already more than 
five thousand children have been examined and 
careful records are on file. When it is remem- 
bered that this is a State Bureau serving a popu- 
lation of five million people, it is seen how vast is 
the work to be done. At least a beginning is be- 
ing made and some of the children of Ohio are in 
a fair way to receive scientific treatment. 


It is too early to announce results or to make 
predictions for the future, but it may be said that 
the results bear out all the statements that we 
have made in regard to the large number of cases 
of children of arrested development or having 
low mental levels or suffering from child insanity. 
The evidence is fast accumulating to prove that 
in the vast majority of cases when the child does 
wrong, it is either because he does not know any 
better or because he cannot help it. 



The discoveries that each individual has his 
mental level which, once established, he cannot 
exceed and that the level of the average person 
is probably between thirteen and fourteen years, 
explain a great many things not previously under- 
stood, but also raise some questions that are at 
first sight, somewhat disturbing. 

One of these questions is: What about dem- 
ocracy, can we hope to have a successful democ- 
racy where the average mentaUty is tWrteen? 
The question is an interesting onf and suggests 
many other questions upon which the doctrine of 
mental levels can certainly throw much light. 
Democracy of course means the people rule, as 
contrasted with aristocracy which means UteraUy, 
"the best" rule. We would probably all agree that 
we ought to be ruled by the best, but unfortuna- 
ately, that term best is one of those indefinite 
terms which must be limited before we can dis- 
cuss it. It might mean best in physical strength, 
or best m knowledge, or best in intelligence, or 
best in administrative powers, or best in any one 
of the many other things. Now democracy is not 


opposed to a rule by the best. The essential point 
of democracy is that every citizen shall have a 
chance to say whom he thinks is the best. "Gov- 
ernments obtain their just powers from the con- 
sent of the governed." 

In the case of the aristocracies of the past, a 
few people have said, "We a^e the best, therefore 
we will rule," and best has often meant best in 
physical strength. Had those rulers been best in 
every sense, the probabilities are that democracy 
would never have arisen, but because they were 
often not wise, not humane, not considerate of the 
welfare and happiness of the masses, those masses 
gradually developed the idea that they wanted to 
have something to say as to who was best. 

Now it is a question of whether a people whose 
average intelligence is that of a thirteen year old 
child can make a sufficiently wise choice of rulers 
to insure the success of a democracy or as it would 
often be put, can children of thirteen govern 
themselves ? The fact that we here in the United 
States have done it for a himdred and forty years 
is of course an all sufficient answer, unless new 
conditions are arising which will make the meth- 
ods of the past, prove a failure in the future. 

Let us not at the outset, commit the fallacy of 
the average. The average only means that there 


are about as many of lower intelligence as of 
higher. We have seen that while the average is 
perhaps thirteen to fourteen years and there are 
twenty-five million people of this intelligence and 
forty-five million still lower, there are also thirty 
million above the average and four and one-half 
million of very superior intelligence. Obviously 
there are enough people of high intelligence to 
guide the Ship of State, if they are put in com- 

The disturbing fear is that the masses — ^the 
seventy million or even the eighty-six million — 
will take matters into their own hands. The fact 
is. matters are already in their hands and have 
been since the adoption of the Constitution. But 
it is equally true that the eighty-six million are 
in the hands of the fourteen million or of the four 
million. Provided always that the four million 
apply their very superior intelligence to the prac- 
tical problem of social welfare and eflSciency. 

Lower intelligence will invariably and inevit- 
ably seek and follow the advice of higher intelli- 
gence so long as it has confidence in the individ- 
uals having the higher intelligence. That is a 
proposition so invariable as to be recognized as 
a law of human natiu*e. 

The crux of the matter however, lies in the 


word confidence. Here is the root of our social 
troubles and here is found the explanation of 
everything from local labor troubles to Bolshev- 
ism. Intelligence has made the fimdamental 
error of assuming that it alone is sufficient to in- 
spire confidence. A little thought shows that this 
is a blimder almost worthy to be called stupid. 
Intelligence can only inspire confidence when it 
is appreciated. And how can unintelligence com- 
prehend intelligence? There is an old Persian 
proverb which says, "The wise man can imder- 
stand the foolish because he has been foolish ; but 
the foolish cannot comprehend the wise because 
he has never been wise." 

The one source and efficient cause of confidence 
of lower intelligence for the higher is what we 
call the human quality. The poet says of the 
great Agassiz, "His magic was not far to seek— 
he was so human." It is the man whose activities 
show that he cares for the weKare and the happi- 
ness of those of less intelligence, that has their 
confidence, their vote and their obedience. 

The inmates of the Vineland Training School, 
imbeciles and morons, did not elect Superintend- 
ent Johnstone and his associates to rule over 
them ; hut they would do so if given a chance be- 
cause they know that the one purpose of that 


group of officials is to make the children happy. 

Whenever the four million choose to devote 
their superior intelligence to understanding the 
lower mental levels and to the problem of the 
comfort and happiness of the other ninety-six mil- 
lion, they will be elected the rulers of the realm 
and then will come perfect government, — ^Aris- 
tocracy in Democracy, 

We may suggest in passing, one reform not in- 
consistent with the above view. While we all be- 
heve in democracy, we may nevertheless admit 
that we have been too free with the franchise and 
it would seem a self-evident fact that the feeble- 
minded should not be allowed to take part in civic 
a£Fairs; should not be allowed to vote. It gpes 
without saying that they cannot vote inteUigent- 
ly, they are so easily led that they constitute the 
venial vote and one imbecile who knows nothing 
of civic matters can annul the vote of the most 
intelligent citizen. 

Before passing to a discussion of education ac- 
cording to mental levels, we may perhaps be per- 
mitted to apply the principle to another problem 
that looms up rather large at the present time, 
namely, socialism and especially its extreme form 
of Bolshevism. Most of the arguments used by 
the more intelligent members of these groups are 


fallacious because they ignore the mental levels. 
These men in their ultra altruistic and humane 
attitude, their desire to be fair to the workman, 
maintain that the great inequalities in social life 
are wrong and unjust. For example, here is a 
man who says, "I am wearing $12.00 shoes, there 
is a laborer who is wearing $3.00 shoes; why 
should I spend $12.00 while he can only a£Ford 
$3.00 ? I live in a home that is artistically deco- 
rated, carpets, high-priced furniture, expensive 
pictures and other luxuries ; there is a laborer that 
hves in a hovel with no carpets, no pictures and 
the coarsest kind of furniture. It is not right, it 
is unjust.'* And so in his enthusiasm for the sup- 
posed just treatment of the workman, this gentle- 
man who has been converted to socialism wiU go 
on pointing out the inequahties which he consid- 
ers imjust. As we have said, the argument is 
fallacious. It assumes that that laborer is on the 
same mental level with the man who is defending 
him. It assumes that if you were to change 
places with the laborer, he would be vastly hap- 
pier than he is now, that he could live in your 
house with its artistic decorations and its fine fur- 
niture and pictures and appreciate and enjoy 
those things. Or if it is admitted that this par- 
ticular laborer could not enjoy it, your gentle- 


man socialist is apt to fall back upon the argu- 
ment that it is due to the fact that he has not been 
brought up right, his environment has been poor 
and so he is accustomed to such conditions and 
could not enjoy anything better. Therefore we 
should take the children and educate them to 
these ideals. 

Now the fact is, that workman may have a ten 
year inteUigence while you have a twenty. To 
demand for him such a home as you enjoy is as 
absurd as it would be to insist that every laborer 
should receive a graduate fellowship. How can 
there be such a thing as social equality with this 
wide range of mental capacity? The diflferent 
levels of intelligence have diflferent interests and 
require diflferent treatment to make them happy, 
and we are committing a serious fallacy when we 
argue that because we enjoy such things, every- 
body else could enjoy them and therefore ought 
to have them. 

As for an equal distribution of the wealth of 
the world that is equally absurd. The man of 
intelligence has spent his money wisely, has saved 
imtil he has enough to provide for his needs in 
case of sickness, while the man of low intelligence, 
no matter how much money he would have 
earned, would have spent much of it foolishly and 


would never have anything ahead. It is said that 
during the past year, the coal miners in certain 
parts of the country have earned more money 
than the operators and yet today when the mines 
shut down for a time, those people are the first 
to suflPer. They did not save anjrthing, although 
their whole Uf e has taught them that mining is an 
irregular thing and that when they were having 
plenty of work they should save against the days 
when they do not have work. 

Socialism is a beautiful theory but the facts 
must be faced. One of the facts is that people 
differ in mentality and that each mentality re- 
quires its own hind of life for its success and hap- 
piness. There are imdoubtedly, a great many 
abuses; there are a great many ways in which in- 
telligent men, men of means, might aUeviate some 
of the conditions of the poor, but here again, the 
only way it can be done is by recognizing the 
mentality of the poor and treating them in ac- 
cordance with that mentality. For example, if 
we discover a man with fifteen year intelligence 
who on account of misf ortime, bad luck or some- 
thing else, is down and cannot get a start, then 
we may profitably give that man as much as he 
needs to put him on his feet again, knowing that 
once that is done he will succeed. Here is another 



man whose outward circumstances look much like 
the former but when we examine him we find he 
has a ten year mentality. To give that man 
money is a mistake for he has not intelligence 
enough to use the money when he gets it ; though 
you gave him a thousand dollars today he would 
be poor tomorrow. 

All this has been said often. These facts are 
appreciated. But it is not so fully appreciated 
that the cause is to be f oimd in the fixed character 
of mental levels. In our ignorance we have said 
let us give these people one more chance — always 
one more chance. 

Much money has been wasted and is continu- 
ally being wasted by would-be philanthropists 
who give liberally for alleviating conditions that 
are to them intolerable. They admit the money 
is being wasted. They do not understand that it 
is being wasted because the people who receive it, 
have not sufiicient intelligence to appreciate it 
and to use it wisely. Moreover, it is a positive 
fact that many of these people are better con- 
tented in their present surroimdings than in any 
that the philanthropists can provide for them. 
They are like Huckleberry Finn who was most 
unhappy when dressed up and living in a com- 
fortable room at Aimt Polly's and having good 


food and everything that Aunt Polly thought 
ought to make him happy. He stood it for a few 
days and then he ran away and went back in his 
hogshead with his old rags on, and getting his 
food wherever he could pick it up. 

Aunt Polly's eflForts were wasted because she 
did not appreciate the mental level of Huckle- 
berry Finn. 

We must now consider what is the wise pro- 
cedure with the various low levels of intelligence. 
As we stated in an earlier lecture, all work look- 
ing to the eventual control of this problem of so- 
cial efficiency as conditioned by mental levels, 
must begin with the children. When children 
enter school their mental level should be deter- 
mined. Several groups will be found. At the 
top are those who are exceptionally intelligent, 
well endowed, who test considerably above their 
age. This group subdivides into two : first, those 
who are truly gifted children and second, those 
whose brilliancy is coupled with nervousness. The 
superior mentality of the truly gifted will mark 
them throughout life. They should have the 
broadest and best education that it is possible to 
give, not necessarily hiuried through the grades 
at the most rapid rate but while advancing some- 
what faster than the average child, they should 


be given a broader experience. There should be 
opportunities for them to do many things, in each 
year, that the average child has not time to do. 

The nervously brilliant group is a very im- 
portant one. It contains those children who 
are brilliant in school, but whose brilliancy is evi- 
dently due to a very high-strung nervous system. 
It is a case of the well-known but little imder- 
stood relationship between genius and insanity. 
While these children may probably not be called 
insane they are nevertheless in a stage of nervous 
instability which, while it happens to make them 
keen, acute and quick, and they give the appear- 
ance of brilliancy ; on the other hand, it is an ex- 
ceedingly dangerous situation since experience 
has taught that a little pushing or overwork may 
very easily throw them over definitely on the in- 
sane side. These children should be treated with 
the very greatest care. 

A second group comprises the moderately 
bright children, a little above average and yet not 
enough to be considered especially precocious. 
They should however, have their condition taken 
into accoimt and they should not be compelled to 
drudge along with the average child. 

Then comes the average child for whom our 
school systems at present are made, and the only 


group whom they adequately serve. The ques- 
tion as to whether the trainmg that we are giving 
this group in the public schools is the best that 
can be devised is not for us to discuss here. 

Our next group is the backward. Those chil- 
dren who are not quite up to age, who have con- 
siderable difficulty in getting along with their 
work and yet who do get along after a fashion. 
This group should be carefully watched from the 
start and eventually they will differentiate again 
into two divisions, possibly three. Perhaps some 
of them may later on catch up with the average 
child. Some of them will go through their whole 
educational career with the same slowness, never- 
theless they will get through. There are still 
others, who while only a little backward at this 
first examination, later on wiU show that they are 
actually feeble-minded children. 

Finally there is the group of definitely feeble- 
minded. In many cases it will not be possible, iat 
this time, to predict just what their final mental 
level wiU be. This group will ultimately divide 
into several grades according to their mental 
level. There will be the morons with their three 
or four subdivisions, that is to say, those who 
have a mentality of eight, those of nine, or ten 
or eleven, perhaps of twelve. Then come the im- 


beciles with their mentality of seven and six and 
five ; and each of these should receive special train- 
ing and treatment. 

The lower grade imbeciles will probably not 
get into the school but will be recognized at home 
as defective and kept there imtil they can be 
placed in an institution for the feeble-minded. 

Now it is impossible to decide from this single 
examination of the children on entering school 
just what kind of training is best for each one. 
Consequently with many of them it will perhaps 
be necessary to start with the regular work of the 
first grade, but they must be carefully watched 
and if it is found that they are not progressmg 
like the other children then they should promptly 
be placed in the other group where the children 
are taught to do things rather than to read and 
write about things. 

The group that is recognized as distinctly 
feeble-minded should not be worried with reading 
and writing at all, but be at once placed in a 
group where they will be taught various activi- 
ties. The purpose of this kind of training is two- 
fold, first to develop physical coordinations and 
second to train them to do useful things. They 
may all be started at the same point but the rela- 
tivdy brighter ones will pro' f^ter «.d 


should the more quickly get on into industrial and 
vocational training. 

The starting point for these cases is the care of 
their own person. These children generally have 
not been taught to wash their faces and hands 
and comb their hair, still less to bathe. These 
matters should be carefully taught imtil they be- 
come habits. Next comes the dressing. Many 
cannot lace their own shoes and have to be care- 
fully taught to do so. Sometimes the buttoning 
and imbuttoning of their clothing is beyond them 
imtil they have been carefully trained. Along 
with this, may go such kinds of household work 
as they can do, such as scrubbing the floors and 
windows, washing and ironing, facilities for aU of 
which should be provided by the school depart- 
ment. The janitor should have practically noth- 
ing to do in this room. The sweeping and clean- 
ing and scrubbing should all be done by the chil- 
dren as it gives them just the training they need. 
Mending may be included, simple mending of 
their own clothing or clothing brought from home 
for the purpose and later on the making of simple 
garments may be taught. 

In connection with this work such use of writ- 
ten or printed words in writing or reading as is 
natural, may be made and encouragement given 


along this line in proportion as the children show 
abiUty. A few of them in this way may learn to 
read and write. Those who cannot learn it this 
way can never learn it profitably in any way. 
Gradually in the course of the first three or four 
years of school these children will differentiate 
themselves into high-grade imbeciles and morons, 
the latter again subdivided into low, middle and 
high grades. When it is finally ascertained that 
a child has a mentality of eight or another one of 
ten or another of eleven, their future may be 
pretty definitely outlined and they must be train- 
ed therefor. 

When once it is ascertained that these chil- 
dren are feeble-minded, they should of course, if 
possible, be transferred to an institution for the 
feeble-minded where their trammg will be more 
intensive and uniform and less interrupted than 
in the public schools and where they will be cared 
for as long as is necessary. Some of them will 
need to be cared for throughout their lives, others 
may probably be "graduated'' when they have 
reached manhood or womanhood. The time is to 
be determined partly by their level of intelligence 
and partly by their temperament and the likeli- 
hood of their getting into trouble. If they can- 
not be placed in institutions then their training 


in the public schools should go on as outlined. 
The higher grades, as they grow older and 
stronger and come nearer to the age for leavmg 
school, may be taught various simple industrial 
pursuits. What this will be, depends not only 
upon their mentality but upon the locality in 
which they live, that is to say, upon what indus- 
tries are carried on in that community into which 
these children may fit and do their simple work. 
For example, in one city children are taught 
to be assistants to a cook because there are many 
bakeries in that city and many of these morons 
find occupation as helpers in the bakery. They 
have been taught cleanliness and taught to handle 
the various materials used and so are able with- 
out too much labor on the part of the employer 
to adapt themselves to some of these occupations. 
Much of the work now done in schools imder the 
head of manual training is of no use to these chil- 
dren except as recreation, they can never earn 
their living by making baskets or doing wood- 
work, hammock making and other attractive 
looking occupations. However, as said, there are 
certain ones of these that may serve as entertain- 
ment for them; for example, girls like to make 
lace, crochet and knit and they may well be 
taught these things in order to have something to 


do in the out-of-work hours, just as the house- 
wife likes to sit down and embroider when the 
work of the day is done. Such a thing as shoe 
repairing is justifiable because they can often 
mend their own shoes or those of the family, but 
again, it is doubtful if many of them can ever 
earn a living by shoe mending, especially now 
that so much of this is done by machinery. 

If the school is in a factory town, the teachers 
may well study the work in these factories and 
ascertain what opportunity there may be for 
these high-grade feeble-minded chUdren more or 
less completely to earn a living in these factories. 
Moreover, the teacher should be on the lookout 
for any special interests or capacities that these 
children may have, and should be governed some- 
what by that in the choice of occupational train- 
ing for them. 

Coining back now to those children who are at 
age or above age and are doing regular school 
work, they should be given mental tests when- 
ever it is proposed to promote them to an ad- 
vanced grade. It will thus be ascertained whether 
they have the mentality for doing the work of 
that grade. Whenever it is shown that they have 
not the capacity, they should be transferred to 


special work within their capacity, and their de- 
velopment carefully watched. 

When it comes to high school it is most im- 
portant that their mental level be determined, be- 
cause there are many children who get through 
grammar school fairly well but have not the men- 
tality for high school work. This fact should be 
determined and these people allowed to leave 
school and go into industries rather than be forced 
on into high school. Again, each year in the high 
school probably requires a higher level and some 
will fall out at each step. This brings us to the 
college. There is a prevalent idea that every 
child who has the means and gets through the 
high school, should go to college. The teachers 
in college have long known that many who enter 
should never attempt to do college work. 

The failure to recognize the fact of mental 
levels as resulted in much wasted energy both in 
the discussion of educational problems and in at- 
tempts to overcome illiteracy. School men have 
written volumes on "Why children leave school." 
The government is at the present tune making 
extensive plans to reduce the illiteracy found in 
the army. Statements have been issued showing 
"the money value of education." 

In the accompanying table the "wages" and 


"school" figures were recently published by the 
Department of Education, to show the import- 
ance of keeping the children in school. The 
argument being that the facts in the "school" 
column account for the conditions in the "wages" 
column. We have added the "inteUigence" col- 
umn. Does it not seem clear that the facts of 
intelligence account for school and wages ? 

To appreciate the full force of this "parallel 
column" it must be understood that each of these 
sets of figures was compiled and given out by a 
different department of the federal government. 

Wages" comes from the Department of Labor ; 

school" from the Department of Education; 
while the figures on inteUigence come from the 
army. In other words, this parallel was not got- 
ten up by any one person to prove a point. They 
are independent groups of facts, here brought 
together for the first time because they so strik- 
ingly confirm the theme of these lectures. 

It is to be hoped that levels of intelligence will 
be taken into account in future plans and dis- 

The plan recently announced by a few colleges, 
notably Columbia University, to give mental 
tests to their entering class is a great step for- 
ward. To allow a young man or yoimg woman 






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to waste a year in coUege worrying along with 
work for which he has not the mental capacity, is 
social inefficiency of a high degree. 

Moreover, there are varying levels among those 
who have the necessary mental level to do college 
work, some can do it easier and better and faster 
than others. The ascertainment of this fact will 
be of prof oimd significance and value to instruc- 
tors since they may thus know at once what they 
have to deal with and what to expect. A man 
who has high ability but is doing poor work may 
very properly be dealt with for not living up to 
his capacity. On the other hand, the student who 
has the lowest degree of mentality that is capable 
of doing college work and who does his work in a 
slow manner, should be given the necessary 
amount of help but should not be worried and 
dealt with if he is doing the best he can. The 
mental level would also show which students 
could safely be conditioned. 

It is not, as we understand, proposed to have 
the mental tests entirely replace other examina- 
tions. No matter what the intelligence of a per- 
son, he cannot go into a college class in Cicero or 
Horace if he has never had adequate preliminary 
training in Latin. 

As mental tests are developed and standardized 


for the higher intelligences, they should be ap- 
plied to each college class and for university work 
as well. Moreover it will undoubtedly be possible 
eventually not only to give each student a mental 
rating but to discover by proper tests the special 
abilities of various students with an idea to guid- 
ing them in their choice of work or profession; 
thus saving an immense waste of energy, and 
contributing enormously to the sum total of hu- 
man eflftciency. 

We come now to our final topic: the social 
control of the unintelligent and inefficient. That 
society has a right to protect itself is an axiom 
which no one wiU attempt to deny. When indi- 
vidual freedom comes in conflict with social well- 
being, there is no question as to which should 
take precedence. In spite of this self-evident 
fact, we have in the past allowed the idea of indi- 
vidual freedom to encroach heavily upon the do- 
main of social efficiency. There will always be, 
of course, cases where it will be difficult to draw 
the line but that the line should be drawn much 
more closely on the individual freedom than has 
been done, is evident to aU thinking people. We 
do not give to every man that asks it the freedom 
to practice medicine, to pilot steamboats, to serve 
as engineer (either locomotive or stationary). 


Nor do we feel that we are interfering with his 
individual Kberty if we deny him the privilege of 
doing these things after we have examined him 
and found him incapable. There is no reason 
why this principle should not be extended indefi- 
nitely wherever the conditions indicate a need. 
Even in the vocations just named, we do not at- 
tain to perfect success, because our examinations 
do not determine the mental level of the candi- 
date. Many an accident involving a great loss of 
life has been due to the actual mental incapacity 
of some engineer or pUot who has somehow man- 
aged to pass the usual tests. Many of the tests 
only ascertain whether the person is able to per- 
form his duties mider ordinary circmnstances, 
when everything runs smoothly. They do not 
test his ability to meet an emergency and it is in 
these emergencies that a catastrophe takes place. 
If we knew the man's mental level, we could of- 
ten say at once that while he has passed the tech- 
nical examination, he has not intelligence enough 
to be safe in any emergency. 

On the other hand, many people of ample in- 
telligence fail to pass our examinations because of 
purely accidental lack of technical knowledge. A 
matter that could be made up in short order after 
the individual once assumed the duties. In other 


words, we would surely all agree that we would 
prefer an intelligent man with less technical 
knowledge than an unintelligent one with all the 
technical knowledge possible. We often act in 
accordance with this view; indeed it is about the 
only way in which an entirely new kind of work 
can be carried on. Here is something to be done 
that has never been done before. There are no 
books giving directions, nor any experiences; 
there is no way of testing a man's technical abil- 
ity. What do we do ? We pick out an intelligent 
man and say, ''You have sufficient intelligence to 
learn this and work it out for yourself.'* If our 
rating of the man's intelligence is correct, the re- 
sult is satisfactory. 

Why should we not ascertain the grade of in- 
telligence necessary in every essential occupation 
and then entrust to that work only those people 
who have the necessary intelligence? This would 
not be at all difficult to do. It would in some 
cases require considerable labor, but that is all. 
For example, how much intelligence does it re- 
quire to be a motorman on a street car? To as- 
certain this, it is only necessary to give mental 
tests to all the motormen and then ascertain from 
employers which ones are highly successful, which 
ones moderately successful and which prove to be 


failures. It would then be discovered that men 
of a certain mental level fail, men of another men- 
tal level are fairly successful, men of still a third 
mental level are highly successful and efficient. 
Now, of course, in each particular case certain 
other quaUties enter besides the intelligence. For 
instance, a man may be highly intelligent, per- 
f ectly capable of being a motonnan on a street 
car and yet he may be of such nervous, excitable 
temperament that he would get panicky at the 
first unusual situation. He would be ruled out 
not because of his intelligence but because of this 
other peculiarity. 

In the army, not all of the A men were chosen 
for officers because, although they had a high 
grade of intelligence, it was obvious in many 
cases that they had not the quality to command. 
To carry this still further, society not only has a 
right to protect itself but it seems clear that so- 
ciety has a right to take any action necessary to 
attain the highest social efficiency. If this is true, 
why should we not ascertain the mental level of 
people in various activities and when we find any 
inefficient, clearly on account of their lack of in- 
telligence or other qualities, why should not so- 
ciety have the right to transfer that individual to 
some other line of work where he would be more 


efficient. This may be a too advanced step to be 
taken at once but it surely will come to that 
eventually. Such a procedure would work no 
hardship to the individual because in the long 
run it would actually increase his happiness and 
lengthen his life, for there is nothing more dead- 
ening and discouraging than to be compelled to 
work at something where one is conscious that he 
is inefficient. Many a person is inefficient be- 
cause of an imcongenial environment which a bet- 
ter intelligence would prompt him to change. 
Moreover, this emotional condition has a physical 
basis which, while sometimes beyond control, is 
nevertheless in many cases capable of being much 
modified by a use of sufficient intelligence. 

We must return now to consider the problem 
of the mental defective from the standpoint of so- 
cial efficiency and social control. Let us assume 
that under ideal conditions every feeble-minded 
individual should be cared for in the proper in- 
stitution or colony and let us assume further that 
this has been done and that it was done as quickly 
as the cases could be discovered, that is to say, in 
childhood and early youth. To do this, would 
probably require at least three times as many in- 
stitutions as any State now possesses, a big ex- 
pense ; but what compensation ! 


First, we would have reduced our crime record 
by from twenty-five to fifty percent, thereby sav- 
ing the damage, including the lives of those who 
are killed by feeble-minded people* We would 
have saved all court costs, and instead of having 
these persons in prisons where they practically do 
nothing, they would be working in a happy com- 
munity of their peers. Even in those prisons 
where the prisoners are made to worik, these 
feeble-minded people can do very little because 
they are not understood and because there is not 
the right kind of work for them to do. In insti- 
tutions or colonies for the feeble-minded, they are 
largely self-supporting under direction. We 
would have taken from the public schools all those 
children that are the bane of the teacher in every 
class. The teadier would thus be able to devote 
her time and attention to instructing the normal 
children. A gain that is so enormous as to be 
difficult to appreciate. 

Moreover, your child and mine would not have 
to sit in school beside an imbecile. Every insti- 
tution not for the feeble-minded, but where 
feeble-minded people are now too often found 
would be relieved of this burden and would be 
able to do its specific work much more efficient- 
ly. Sex immorality and prostitution would be 


largely reduced; also the problem of the spread 
of venereal disease would be materially helped and 
most important of all, the race of the feeble- 
minded would be largely cut off, since these peo- 
ple would be kept from propagating their kind. 
We say the birth of feeble-minded would be 
largely stopped. Some feeble-minded children 
would continue to be bom. We now know that 
two normal people may have feeble-minded chil- 
dren if each of them has a feeble-minded taint 
somewhere in the ancestry. 

Now what is the program for those who are 
thus cared for according to the ideal plan? In 
the institution, these children will be trained to do 
all those things that are within their mental ca- 
pacity ; and at the same time, correct habits of liv- 
ing will be impressed upon th^n. Now the 
feeble-minded more than anybody else are crea- 
tures of habit. Once a habit is formed it i& iiever 
broken. This is because they lack energy, they 
lack initiative, they lack imagination, they lack 
ideas which would tend to make them try new 
things. They are perfectly content to go on day 
after day in the routine in which they have been 
brought up. On this account, many of the evils 
which society suffers from these people when tliey 
are brought up in laziness and idleness, would be 


eliminated. When they are eighteen or twenty 
years of age, after having had from five to ten 
years of this careful and wise treatment, many of 
them could be sent back to their homes on parole. 
Careful study of them while they were in the in- 
stitution will have shown what ones can be thus 

trusted in their home communities. 

Ninety-five percent of those who are thus sent 

home would give no further trouble, the other 
five percent would sooner or later have to be sent 
back to the institution. These persons who are 
thus on parole would of course be under a con- 
stant supervision ; where the parents were able to 
exercise the proper control that would be suffi- 
cient. In other cases there would have to be some 
sort of local committee for the purpose of keeping 
in touch with these cases. This oversight might 
perhaps be exercised by the police or if necessary, 
special parole officers could be appointed. In 
small places the pastors of the churches might 
without adding unduly to their day's work, give 
the necessary oversight. The children thus sent 
out would give ample room for the others that 
needed to be taken in. 

This is no fanciful theory, there is evidence to 
prove that it is a possible solution of the problem. 
Dr. Bernstein of the Rome Custodial Asylum, 


has placed out for day's work in the city of Rome 
a hundred girls. They have all made good but 
two. Studies have been made both at Waverly» 
Massachusetts and at Vineland> New Jersey, of 
those cases who have» for (me reason or another, 
left the institution and although these cases have 
not been under the supervision that we would 
plan for» nevertheless the results are amazingly 
satisfactory. Very few ot them have gotten into 
trouble and the large number of them, thanks to 
their careful training in the institutions, have 
been able to work and earn something to help in 
their own support. 

I recently met in the city of Cleveland a boy 
who had formerly been at Vineland. He is now 
earning $18.00 a week, is quiet and well behaved 
and shows no tendency whatever to go wrong. It 
is thus seen that the problem of the high-grade 
feeble-minded is a problem of education. Not the 
kind of education that we are giving to the nor- 
mal child, but a training to work according to the 
child's mental capacity. 

To sum it all up, here is a large group of in- 
efficient people. This group is increasing rapidly 
through the natural propagation of hereditmy 
f eeble-mindedness. They are not only inefficient 
themselves but they are causing inefficiency in 


society. They are unhappy because they are not 
understood and consequently mistreated. They 
are idle because they have not been trained to do 
anything that is within their capacity. They 
commit crimes, they spread disease; they cry out 
from every angle to be cared for. Will society 
exercise its right of self-protection, its right to 
develop itself to the highest efficiency and will it 
take care of these people? It is a straight prob- 
lem in economy and social well-'being. In the 
past we have thought these people were wicked 
and willful and were to be reformed by constantly 
punishing them. We now know that they do as 
they do because they have not sufficient intelli- 
gence to do otherwise. 

CiviUzation is growing more complex every 
day and making it more difficult for these people 
to adapt themselves to their environment. Un- 
der these conditions it would seem that there is 
only one thing to be done, that is for society to 
step in and control the situation. 

I have dwelt somewhat at length upon educa- 
tion and social control because to my mind these 
matters are of vital importance in a democracy, 
where the keynote must be happiness and con- 
tentment. In a military aristocracy education 
may not be so important, indeed it may be desir- 


able to keep the masses in ignorance in order to 
emphasize their dependence upon their superiors; 
and where all are under the control of the ruling 
group, it is not so important perhaps to segregate 
the mental defectives from the other low levels of 
intelligence. But in a democracy every man is 
supposed to do his part. What that part is can 
only be determined by knowing his mental capac- 
ity and in training him to the limit of that ca- 

As Americans we are proud of our claims to 
freedom and equality and that it is the inalienable 
right of every one to enjoy life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness. These are simple formulas 
that make a strong appeal. The actual carrying 
out of them however, is a difficult matter and only 
by constant adjustment and readjustment can 
they be worked out and the ideal goal attained. 
The greatest liberty or the highest happiness is 
only attained when each individual is properly ad- 
justed to the rest, and while as we have pointed 
out, there are many factors concerned in that ad- 
justment we have maintained and tried to demon- 
strate that the fundamental factor is the mental 
level, and that a perfect democracy is only to be 
realized when it is based upon an absolute knowl- 


edge of mental levels and the organization of the 
social body on that basis. 

Resum6. In this course we have tried to ex- 
press our conviction that every human being 
reaches at some time a level of intelligence be- 
yond which he never goes ; that these levels range 
from the lowest or idiotic, to the highest level of 
genius. We have indicated without going into 
great detail that the number of people of relative- 
ly low inteUigence is vastly greater than is gen- 
erally appreciated and that this mass of low level 
intelligence is an enormous menace to democracy 
unless it is recognized and properly treated. We 
have tried to show that the social efficiency of a 
group of human beings depends upon recogniz- 
ing the mental limitatiohis of each one and of so 
organizing society that each person has work to 
do that is within his mental capacity and at the 
same time dalls for all the ability that he possesses. 

In otir third lecture we have tried to show that 
the failure to appreciate this fact and control it, 
has resulted in a vast amount of delinquency, and 
that such delinquency impairs the efficiency of 
the total group to an extent little appreciated. 
We have pointed out that the intelligent group 
must do the planning and organizing for the 
mass, that our whole attitude toward lower grades 
of intelligence must be philanthropic; not the hit 


and miss philanthropy with which we are all too 
familiar but the philanthropy based upon an in- 
telligent understanding of the mental capacity of 
each individual. And finally we have attempted 
to show that democracy is not impossible even in 
a group with a large mass of people of relatively 
low mentality, provided that there is a sufficiently 
large group of people of high intelligence to con- 
trol the situation ; and provided f luiher, that that 
group has the right attitude toward those of less 
intelligence. That that attitude is best expressed 
by the one desire to make all people happy; which 
does not mean, as socialism is too apt to claim, 
that all people are to be treated alike. Children 
are not to be made happy by placing them in the 
same level as adults. Even in a democracy where 
every person has the right to vote for those who 
shall rule over him, the masses will vote for the 
best and most intelligent if they are made to feel 
that these same intelligent people have the wel- 
fare of the masses at heart. The only way to 
demonstrate that, is for the intelligent to under- 
stand the mental levels of the unintelligent, or 
those of low intelligence, and to so organize the 
work of the world that every man is doing such 
work and bearing such responsibility as his men- 
tal level warrants.